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Ex Libris 
C. K. OGDEN 








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ETON SCHOOL DAYS, 



RECOLLECTIONS OF AN ETONIAN, 



BRACEBRIDGE HEMYNG, 

AUTHOR OF "BUTLER BURKE AT ETON," "CALLED TO THE BAR,' 

" SEASON AT BRIGHTON," "MAN Or THE PERIOD," ETC. 



LONDON: 
WARD, LOCK, AND TYLER, 

WARWICK HOUSE, PATERNOSTER ROW. 
AND ALL BOOKSELLERS AND RAILWAY STATIONS. 

\All rights reserved.] 



LONDON: 

ROBSON AND SONS, rRINTEBS, PANCRAS ROAD, N.W. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAP. PAGE 

I. GOING BACK TO SCHOOL 1 

II. THE PLAYING FIELDS 18 

III. THE STOOL OF REPENTANCE .... 27 

IV. OMNIS AB OVO ....... 41 

V. THE MYSTERY CLEARED UP . . .56 

VI. DAGON FALLS DOWN 65 

VII. THE FIGHT IN SIXPENNY 74 

VIII. THE FOURTH OF JUNE 89 

IX. SWEEPSTAKES 101 

X. GOLD AND SILVER 110 

XI. TURNING THE TABLES 122 

xii. "ONE OF MY HEROES" 132 

XIII. UNDER A CLOUD t 147 

XIV. BUTLER BURKE BREAKS HIS PROMISE . . 159 
XV. RUNNING AWAY 176 

xvi. BUTLER BURKE'S TRIUMPH .... 186 

XVII. MAKING HAY 194 

XVIII. DRIVING TANDEM 204 

XIX. THE BELLS OF OUSKLY 209 

XX. THE HAUNTED OAK 218 

XXI. A WATER PARTY 227 

XXII. BEECH MANOR 247 

XXIII. PLUCK AND PLAY 253 

XXIV. A BROKEN LE(J 263 

XXV. H. R. H. . ." 273 

XXVI. A COLLEGE HIDING 285 

XXVII. WINDSOR FAIR 294 

XXVIII. THE FLOOD 304 

XXIX. ILLNESS 312 






ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 



OPINIONS OF THE PEESS. 

"The characters are well described. Reginald Purefoy and 
Butler Burke and Chorley are, no doubt, types of the Etonians. 
The perusal of the volume will fill up a vacant hour pleasantly 
enough, especially if the reader be, or has been, an Etonian." 
Morning Advertiser. 

" Eton boys and old Etonians will find pleasure in glancing at 
this narrative of life in the old college. The 'Old Etonian' 
aims at fidelity to facts, and makes no attempt to represent boys 
as better than they are." AthencBum. 

" Among the followers of ' Tom Brown' the 'Old Etonian' is 
not the least worthy. He has written a very Etonish book, 
which all public-school boys will read with interest." Glolc. 

" ' Eton School Days' is a capital book, which will be read with 
pleasure by many old boys, as well as those who are looking for- 
ward to the day when they hope to enter on the pleasures and 
pains of that great public school. The boys are good healthy 
tlesh-and-blood boys, who go through their share of toils and 
vexations, amuse themselves, and get into scrapes without cant 
or affectation." Glasgow Herald. 

"A capital work this is, and one that we have found to be 
thoroughly enjoyable. It is admirably well done ; full of life 
and animation." Sun. 



ETON SCHOOL DATS. 



CHAPTER I. 

GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. 



" Now, coine along ; you have no time to lose I" ex- 
claimed an elderly gentleman, addressing two boys of 
the respective ages of twelve and fifteen, who, if one 
might form an opinion from seeing a quantity of 
luggage piled up in the hall, were going back to 
school. 

Reginald Purefoy, the eldest of the two, was the 
cousin of the younger, Philip Butler Burke, who was 
about to accompany his cousin to Eton for the first 
time. 

Mrs. Butler Burke, being of the sensible order of 
women, did not make a fuss over her boy, although as 
he had never before left home she might reasonably 
expect to miss him a good deal ; but giving him a 
couple of sovereigns, she said she hoped he would 
never get flogged, and, kissing him, let him go. 

His sister Letitia, two. years older than himself, 
1 



2 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

had some difficulty in preventing herself from making 
a lachrymose demonstration, but she bravely con- 
trolled her feelings, and gave her brother the pair of 
worsted- worked cat's-head slippers she had been 
making for him any time during the preceding three 
months, with a good grace. 

" What time does that train of yours start?" in- 
quired Mr. Butler Burke. 

" The train?" replied Purefoy, to whom the question 
had been addressed. " Oh ! at haif-past eleven from 
the Great Western. We like it better than Waterloo." 

" Well, you must look after Philip, Reginald," said 
Mr. Butler Burke. 

" If Philip is only as well behaved, as gentlemanly 
and good as Reginald is," exclaimed Mrs. Burke, " I 
shall be more than satisfied." 

A flush of pleasure reddened Purefoy's cheek as he 
promised to look after his cousin to the best of his 
ability. 

" Past ten, my boys !" cried Philip's father, looking 
at his watch ; " it's time to be off. I'll go and get the 
luggage stowed away in the cab." And he bustled off 
good-naturedly to superintend the embarkation. 

Purefoy had been on a visit to the Burkes, by whom 
he was highly esteemed, for he was the cleverest as 
well as the most religious boy in his tutor's house, 
and these qualifications, although not much thought 



GO1XG BACK TO SCHOOL. 3 

of by the possessor's companions, are always a recom- 
mendation in maternal and paternal eyes. It followed 
that Purefoy was a great favourite. His father was a 
barrister in good practice, with a seat in the House of 
Commons. Mr. Butler Burke was an eminent phy- 
sician in May Fair, and the conversation I have 
detailed above took place at Mr. Burke' s house. 

In a short time Mr. Butler Burke returned, saying 
that all was in readiness. 

"Good-bye, mater; good-bye, Letty," said Philip. 

" Mind you write often," said his mother. 

11 1 think you will like the slippers," said his sister. 

" Good-bye, dear Mrs. Burke/' said Purefoy: "many 
thanks for your kindness." 

" Good-bye, Phil," said Mr. Butler Burke. " Here's 
a supply of the needful." 

" Good-bye, good-bye," said everybody; and then, 
with a melancholy crack of an aged whip, the Jehu 
made his Rosinante trot off in the direction of the 
G. W. R. 

Although Reginald Purefoy was rather more reli- 
gious than most of the boys in his tutor's house, he 
was not disliked. He would play at foot-ball, and 
could bat a little ; but he had not much time for 
cricket, as he was reading very hard. He was slightly 
built, which made his Grecian features, surmounted 
with dark hair parted in the middle, not unlike one 



4 ETON" SCHOOL DAYS. 

of Murillo's Matres DolorossB, especially as they were 
generally overshadowed with a slight tinge of melan- 
choly, more the result of study than of his natural 
disposition. He was captain of his division, and was 
in Lower Fifth. He had a shelf hy the side of his 
bureau filled with prizes. "When ho took a double 
out of lower Greek into fourth form he had an 
edition of Shakspeare given him in eight volumes. 
He had carried off Prince Albert's prize both for 
French and German, which by the way was not such 
a very difficult achievement, as a very small per- 
centage went in for them, and those more from home 
constraint than inclination. Still it was a feather in 
his cap, which cap with its numerous trophies was 
acquiring a plume of some density. He had also 
been "sent up for good" and "for play" a great 
many times, and it was hinted that he intended to 
try for the " Newcastle." 

" Did your governor ' pouch ' you," asked Purefoy, 
as they were going towards the Station 

"Yes," replied Butler Burke, "and so did the 
mater." 

" He's a brick," said Purefoy : " he socked me some- 
thing." 

" Yes, I daresay ; you are a great favourite." 

" Do you think so?" replied Purefoy. " Oh ! here wo 
are, 1 think; our jarvey has pulled up." 



GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. 5 

Getting out of their cab, they saw their luggage 
taken in to the station and placed with a lot more on 
the platform. 

Purefoy walked up and down, talking to and shaking 
hands with a number of boys who had already arrived, 
some of whom were drinking beer at the bar, and 
some tossing off a nip of neat brandy, some imbibing 
something no less potent but diluted with water. 
Purefoy and Butler Burke contented themselves with 
a pot of beer, both pulling out of the same pewter. 

" Here, you fellow ! give us some of that beer/' 
rudely exclaimed a boy, coming up to Butler Burke, 
when he stood still facing him. 

" It is not mine exactly," replied Burke, rather 
taken aback : " if it was you might have some." 

" Oh ! I don't want your beer ; don't alarm your- 
self/' he answered. 

But as he passed by Burke to go into the bar, he 
gave the pewter Burke held in his hand a jerk, which 
sent the contents flying into his face and all over him, 
much to the amusement of himself and some others 
standing by. 

Butler Burke took out his handkerchief and wiped 
himself as dry as he could; and while he was so 
engaged, Purefoy, who had been talking to a friend, 
turned round. Seeing the bespattered condition his 
-cousin was in, he said, 



X 6 ETON" SCHOOL DAYS. 

"What's the row, Butts ?" (Butts was a friendly 
diminutive of Butler.) 

" Why, some fellow knocked all the beer over me, 
because when he asked me for some I did not like to 
give it him without asking you ; and besides, I did 
not see the fun of giving our beer to a fellow I don't 
know, and I'm sure don't want to know after this." 

" Which fellow was it ?" inquired Purefoy. 

"That one there/' replied Burke, indicating a boy 
who had just taken a small cutty pipe, rather dirty 
than otherwise, out of his pocket, and was regarding 
it affectionately. He was handsome-looking, about 
thirteen; but there was a bad expression about his 
face. He dressed rather loudly; he had a blue frock-coat 
on, a pair of shepherd's-plaid trousers of a very large 
check, and an Eton blue tie confined by a fine cameo 
ring. He was considered by his tutor one of the 
idlest and worst boys in the school. 

"Oh ! that's Chorley," said Purefoy; "I don't like 
him at all. I don't think I would say anything to 
him, for I would rather he was an enemy than a 
friend of yours." 

" Can you lick him, Purefoy ?" asked Butler Burke, 
rather anxiously, as if he would like to see a little 
summary castigation inflicted. 

" Well, you know I am a reading-man, and I don't 
go in for that sort of thing." 



GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. 7 

Butler Burke looked disappointed, and it is just 
probable that he felt a slight amount of contempt for 
his clever, but slightly effeminate cousin. 

" If I can't lick him though, I can fag him." 

Here was a veritable triumph of mind over 
matter. 

" And if he bullies you any more," added Purefoy, 
"he shall pay a few more visits to Webber's and 
Layton's than he will exactly like." 

The guard who had charge of the train now made 
his appearance; he was known to some of the boys 
who immediately flocked round him, and a chorus of 
voices asked him what he would have. The guard 
replied generally to his numerous patrons, "Cold 
brandy, \iyou please, gents." But it was notable that 
this public functionary glanced furtively around him 
on entering the bar, in order to see whether his move- 
ments were being watched by any having authority 
over him. 

Shortly the time for starting arrived, and the 
guard, whose name was popularly supposed to be 
Sloggers, invited some of the boys to travel in his 
break van. There was a great crowd at the station, 
as may easily be supposed, for in many instances the 
boys' friends had come to see them off, and during the 
confusion it was difficult to notice that half-a-dozen 
boys got into the van instead of into a first-class 



8 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

carriage, which was their proper domain. Chorley 
was amongst the number who accepted Sloggers's 
invitation, and when Butler Burke perceived it, he 
exclaimed to Purefoy, " Can we go in the van ? I 
should like it awfully." 

" We can try, if you like," replied Purefoy ; " but I 
don't know if those fellows will let us." 

As Burke expressed a wish to try his luck, they 
made the venture. 

" What do you want in here ?" cried Chorley, as he 
saw them open the door. " Cut it. You will only 
get us into a row. Do you hear ? Cut it, or I'll lick 
you till you can't stand." 

Just as Burke and Purefoy were hesitating as to 
what they should do, Sloggcrs appeared, and said, 
"Now gents, in with you !" And lending them a help- 
ing hand, they soon found themselves in the guard's 
van. The engine whistled. The train moved. Sloggers 
himself jumped in and unlocked his breaks, and it 
was too late for Chorley or anybody else to take ex- 
ception at Butler Burke and his cousin's appearance 
amongst them. 

After the train had fairly started, every one, with 
the exception of Butler Burke and Purefoy, began to 
smoke, and very quickly afterwards some had sudden 
recourse to pocket-flasks, the contents of which 
averted the ill-effects of their rash proceedings. 



GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. 9 

Sloggers had not always been, a guard ; he had 
some years ago driven a coach, but when the railroads 
ran the coaches off the road, he, along with many 
others, adapted himself to circumstances, and became 
a guard in the service of the Great Western Railway 
Company. Sloggers was one of the good old sort; 
he had never taken kindly to his new mode of 
life, and as he was now a man of between fifty 
and sixty, he may be excused for travelling back 
to the past and revelling in the incidents of his 
former days. 

I have observed that guards, as a rule, are a 
thoughtful and taciturn race. When they do con- 
descend to speak, they utter their sentences in an 
oracular manner ; and I was once acquainted with a 
guard who could compress a depth of meaning and 
significance into the single words "onkimmon, sir, 
onkimmon." 

Sloggers was famous for being able to tell two 
stories : he was never known either to increase or 
decrease his stock. He called them " this wise and 
t'other wise." 

They were reminiscences of his old coaching days. 

Chorley, wishing to be amused, asked Sloggers to 
tell them a story. 

" Tell us a story, Sloggers," he said; "yon must 
have had a lot of adventures." 



30 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Mebbe I have, sir. But there's t\vo times as I've 
had a narrow escape." 

And Sloggers gravely shook his head; as if the 
recollections he had called up made him dubious as to 
whether his head was even now as firmly set on his 
shoulders as it ought to be. 

" The first time, sir, it was in ' this wise ;' the second 
time it was in ' another wise/ Now, sir, which ' wise 5 
'Jlyer'ave?" 

"Well, Sloggers, suppose we have 'this wise/" 
replied Chorley. 

" ' This wise,' sir. Werry good, sir ; werry good," 
said Sloggers. 

As Chorley had a seat near the guard, his conversa- 
tion was directed principally to him. 

" You aint got arra bit o' baccy, sir, I don't sup- 
pose ?" asked Sloggers. 

As we have said, Purefoy did not smoke, nor had 
Burke as yet learnt that somewhat fashionable vice. 
But Chorley exclaimed, 

" Want some smoke, eh ? Here you are." And he 
handed a small pouch constructed of sealskin to the 
guard, who filled his pipe, and passed it back again with 
many protestations of lasting gratitude. 

"I may say," began Sloggers, "that I've been 
throvved a many times., p'raps up'ards of a score, but 



GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. 11 

these two as I've'ad the honour of mentioning" (here 
he made an inclination of the head to nobody in par- 
ticular), " are the stunninest and the cleanest of the 
' ole kit/ I was young then, though there's a proverb 
sir, I's cruel fond o' proverbs as says, 'experience 
don't break no bones/ and that 'ere proverb's true, sir, 
for it don't, as I'm a living witness." 

After this truly gratifying announcement, Sloggers 
turned to his patrons, and smiled blandly upon them. 

" Well, as I was saying, gents, or, rather, as I 
wasn't saying, but as I was going to be saying, I 
used to flutter the ribands of the London Croydon 
and South Coast coach ; and it might 'ave been a 
matter of some five-and-thirty 'ear ago, as at ten 
o'clock p.m., which means past morning, and con- 
sikvently evening, I started from the 'Coach and 
Oysters,' Bishopsgate Street, to drive the 'Mid- 
summer Comet ' nignt coach down to Croydon, which 
was our first stage. We 'adn't got much beyond 
Tootin' as we were going a good over an' above ten 
mile an hour summut like an 'orn sounded behind, 
and in coorse I prickt up my ears, and so did the 
'osses, and we both of us kept them pointed as if we 
was ready to shy at a moment's notice. Well .an' 
good. In a bit we 'card it agin, and soon arteracls a 
clatterin' o' 'oofs ; not like morshall 'osses' 'oofs, but 



12 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

more resembling, I should say, the clatter in* o' Hell 
Steeds 'oofs. Natural enough, I was onkimmon 
scared, and laid on the whipcord, which made the 
team tear over the Macdamyereyes." 

This was too much even for Purefoy's gravity to 
withstand, and, although he could not help laughing, he 
said, "Macadamized, Sloggers; you mean McAdam." 

" He'd just come in, sir, I remember well, 'cos I 
drank 'is 'elth, thinking him a good friend to the 
'osses." 

" But not the wheelwrights, eh, Sloggers ?" 

"Beggin' your pardon, sir, wheelwrights weren't 
of no account whatsomever; no more account than 
the Emperor of Ejyp. It wor 'osses as he had in 
view ; I said 'osses, and I stands by 'osses." 

Sloggers pulled away a bit viciously at his pipe, as 
if in high dudgeon at being interrupted and dis- 
credited, muttering every now and then, " I said 'osses, 
and I stands by 'osses." 

Purefoy was about to acquiesce with Sloggers in his 
idea of McAdam's invention, when Chorley, who was 
getting angry, cried 

" Oh! shut up, Purefoy; we don't want any of your 
scientific bosh. Go on, Sloggers." 

"Well," said Sloggers, a little mollified by the 
soothing influence of the weed, " the 'Midsummer 
Comet ' went along as fast as a locomotive." 



GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. 13 

" Thirty miles an hour \" interrupted Purefoy. 
" Don't you think you are drawing it a little too 
strong, Sloggers?" 

" Hold your row, will you ?" again cried Chorley. 

" Why?" asked Purefoy. " What I said is nothing 
infer Christianas non nominandum" 

" If it isn't, it is nihil ad rein. Go ahead, Sloggers !" 

"This ere thing behind," continued Sloggers, 
"kep' coming up wi'us, 'and over 'and, and no mistake, 
an' the 'orn it kep' a blowin' as if it wor the last day, 
and all the cherrybims and sieh was a blowin* their 
young cheeks fit to bust. I was powerful frit. I 
turned, and I tuk one look, which made me cut up 
the cattle till they tore along like anything, and their 
flanks became covered wi' patches of foam that soon 
grew into sheets of white. It wor a coach, wi' a 
spectre-like thing on the box, with a head like a bear, 
and the forehead was surmounted with antlers as big 
as a stag royal's. The 'osses were black, coal black, 
and their eyes and nostrils flashed fire and smoke. 
The coach was encircled with a light as bright as day, 
which made the hedges and that look awful fearful. I 
saw it would run me clown, if so be as I didn't make 
room for it; so I drew a little on one side, and it was 
well I did, for the next moment it dashed by like 
lightning. I could see no one inside, and no one 
outside but this bear-faced fiend with antlers." 



14 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Purefoy could not help thinking that Sloggers'a 
story was as ' ' barefaced " as the fiend. 

" On the panel of the door was written in letters of 
fire "The Devil's Own,' and just as Fd read that the 
inside of the coach seemed to be alive with snakes, a 
'issing, like. Oh ! they didn't 'iss, no 'ow. Then the 
wind of the coach, or the 'issin', or summut, sent us 
clean into the ditch, tilting me on to a 'eap o' stones 
by the road-side. When I looked up, I found my 
bones wasn't bruk, but the ' Devil's Own ' had dis- 
appeared. I picked myself up, and a box-seat hoff- 
side passenger, you know, sir, come, and he says, 

'"You drunken villin."' 

" Now, sir, I wasn't drunk, though I might have 
had 'arf a dozen glasses o' gin, neat ; but I wasn't by 
any manner o' means within a mile of being drunk; 
so I felt riled, I did, riled onkimmon, and I ups with 
my fist, and lets drive at him; but somehow I 
couldn't do no good that night. Well, I hoffered to 
fit him for a fi-pun-note, but he gives me a crack on 
the heye, and I fell as easy as a bit o' wood. And 
here's Baling." As he said this he put the breaks 
down, and the story was at an end. 

Butler Burke was much pleased with the excite- 
ment and novelty of travelling in the van. He 
thought he should like Eton, and everybody, except 
Chorley, the boy who had spilt the beer over him. 



GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. 15 

And indeed Chorley was not exactly the sort of boy 
for one fresh from home to take a fancy to. He 
swore, and drank, and made bets, and did several 
things very repugnant to a young and innocent mind. 

"We shall get to Eton early in the day," said 
Purefoy to his cousin, " and that is very jolly, for 
I shall be able to show you over College. Every one, 
you know, has a room to himself, with a bed and a 
bureau in it; but the bed shuts up in the daytime, 
and looks like a chest of drawers. We dine all together, 
and have supper ; but we have breakfast and tea in 
our own rooms. They give us a quarter of a pound 
of tea and a pound of sugar every week, and we can 
buy what we like besides. Fellows always take back 
a lot of things with them. I've got a ham, and a 
couple of chickens, and a tongue, and lots of jam and 
sardines and anchovies, you know. We only get a 
roll and a pat of butter ; and after your maters' break- 
fasts, Butts, that is rather a poor look-out." 

" I like that," said Butler Burke ; " it is so inde- 
pendent and jolly." 

" I think, as your pater told me to look after you, 
and as we are friends, and all that," exclaimed Purefoy, 
" we had better mess together." 

" Yes, I vote we do." 

" You can swim, can't you ? because this is summer ' 
half," continued Purefoy ; " and if 3^011 are fond of 



16 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

boating shimming will be of great use to you, because 
no one is allowed to go on the river before he has 
' passed' a sort of swimming examination, you 
know/' explained Purefoy. 

"Yes, I can swim/' replied Burke. 

" So much the better for you. Every fellow at 
Eton is either a Wet-Bob or a Dry-Bob ; that is, they 
either go in for boating or for cricket." 

"Well, I shall be a Wet -Bob; I hate cricket, and 
I am sure I shall like boating." 

" Boating is more swell than dry-bobbing. It is 
jolly enough to be in the Eleven, yet I almost think I 
would rather be Captain of the Boats." 

" Or Captain of the School/' replied Butler Burke, 
with a smile, for he knew his cousin's ambition. 

When they arrived at the Windsor station, they got 
into a fly, and after a quick drive through the town 
they entered the College, famous for its " antique 
spires and watery glades/' and they were soon depo- 
sited at the house of the Rev. Walter Wynne, at that 
time head master of Fourth Form. Mr. Wynne's 
house was what is called a " swell house/' not because 
there were a great number of lords, or baronets, or 
dukes, or " cadets " of noble families in it, but because 
he had in his house the Captain of the Boats, two 
fellows in the " Prince of Wales," one in the " Thetis," 
three in the " Dreadnought," and the coxswain of the 



GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. 17 

<( Victory" a combination not often to be met with ; 
and in addition to that he had two boys in the foot- 
ball eleven, and two in the cricket eleven, with several 
who played well in lower club. Purefoy was expected 
to do the " sapping," and carry off the "Newcastle;" 
which belief was further indulged in, because a boy 
had left last half who had been {( medallist," and it 
was thought the house was a lucky one. 

When the boys arrived, their tutor, who happened 
to be going out, met them at the door. Mr. Wynne 
was very popular with his own boys. 

His house was at the top of the road which leads down 
to the gas-works, and what is called " John Haw- 
trey's Field." Mr. Wynne was of an average height, 
well made, but not stout. His hair was dark, and 
his complexion had an olive tint, while the expression 
of his face was stern, if not melancholy, and he could 
not have been more than two or three-and-thirty. 



18 



CHAPTER II. 

THE PLAYING FIELDS. 

" AH ! how do you do, Burke ?" exclaimed Mr. 
Wynne, when he perceived that young gentleman 
with his cousin. 

A letter from Mr. Burke had prepared Mr. Wynne 
for Philip's advent, and seeing a new face under the 
guidance of Purefoy, he knew at once who it was. 

Butler Burke stammered a response, and Mr. Wynne 
said, " I could not wish you a better acquaintance 
than Purefoy; and if you are only like him I am sure 
we shall be very good friends." 

Purefoy seemed pleased at this eulogy. Indeed, he 
always felt gratified when his tutor praised him, 
because he knew that the praise was genuine. 

" I think you had better run out a little," said 
Mr. Wynne, "and show your cousin the Playing 
Fields, or any other place you like to take him to ; 
that is to say, if he is not tired." 

Burke assured his tutor that he was not at all 
tired; but Purefoy said to him, "Would you mind 



THE PLAYING FIELDS. 19 

going with somebody else, old boy ? Don't think me 
unkind, but I want particularly to have another look 
at my holiday task." 

" I don't mind, I am sure," replied Burke ; "I will go 
another time. I am not in such a hurry as all that." 

ff l wont keep you in, though/' said Purefoy ; "I will 
get some fellow I know to go with you. Oh ! here's 
a fellow who will just do. He is a little rough in his 
manner, but a very good sort in his way." 

" I don't care who it is ; I would rather have you ; 
but if you are busy I will go with any one you like to 
introduce me to." 

" I say, Chudleigh," cried Purefoy, addressing a 
boy who had just left the house. 

" I am not going to fag for any fellow to-day, so I 
tell you plainly," answered Chudleigh, apprehensive 
of some journey up town. 

" I don't want to fag you," said Purefoy ; " I only 
want you to look after my cousin, Butler Burke ; he is 
a new fellow, and he wants some one to go about with. 
I wish you would be a brick, and take him with you." 

"Why don't you take him yourself?" 

" Well, I would, only I want to sap. I don't 
know my holiday task as well as I ought, and I want 
to have another squint at it." 

"All right, I'll take him; only I shall crib 
' private ' *?m you next week if I do." 
22 



20 ETOX SCHOOL DAYS. 

"That will be nothing extraordinary/' replied 
Purefoy ; "you are always cribbing something, either 
an old copy of verses, or Sunday questions, or " 

"Oh, yes, I dare say!" cried Chudleigh, "you are 
just like an old woman ; you go on jawing, and never 
know when to stop. Come on, you fellow \" 

This last command was addressed to Butler Burke, 
who passively followed his conductor, who was a little 
older than himself, of a lively disposition, quick at 
repartee, full of spirits, and much impressed with his 
own dignity and importance. 

" Have you ever been to school before? " he asked. 

" No ; I have never left home for any length of 
time in my life/' 

" All the better for you then ; my tutor hates 
fellows who have been to private schools," said 
Chudleigh. 

" Does he ? Why ? Doesn't he like them ?" asked 
Burke, innocently. 

"How should I know? you'd better ask him." 

Butler Burke looked rather cut up at the reply. 

"I suppose he doesn't like them because they 
are such beastly holes in comparison with Eton," 
continued Chudleigh ; "everything is so different 
here." 

"Were you at a private school?" 

"What does that matter to you? You will get 



THE PLAYING FIELDS. XL 

into no end of rows, I can tell you, if you go 
asking questions in that way," replied Chudleigh, 
angrily. 

"I'm very sorry, I'm sure," apologized Burke; "I 
didn't mean to offend you." 

" Well, don't do it again, that's all," returned his 
companion, a little mollified by his new friend's sub- 
mission. 

They walked some distance after this in comparative 
silence, Chudleigh only breaking the monotony by 
saying, 

" This is the wall, you know, where Spankey, and 
Levi, and Bryan, and the soc-fellows come." Or, " This 
is Cullifat's Lodge. Cullifat, you know, is the fellow 
who makes the birches. He has about a waggon- 
load of twigs every half, and every fellow who is 
flogged has to pay five shillings for a new birch, which 
is put down in the bill." Or, "Here we are in Weston's 
Yard. That's the head-master's house on the left 
Old Plug, the fellows call him. That building on the 
right is Tuggery, where the Tug-Muttons hive; you'll 
hate the Tugs like anything : all the Oppidans hate 
the Tugs. I do. Sometimes after a match, like Col- 
legers and Oppidans, we break all their windows. But 
the great lark is the winter, when snow-balling comes 
in. Don't we give it them then ! All the big fellows 
come down into the Playing Fields, arid fag Lower boys 



22 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

to make them snow-balls, and then the Tugs get it. 
But here we are in Sixpenny." 

The Playing Fields is a broad expanse of meadow- 
land, flanked by the Thames on the right, and by 
the Slough Road on the left. A sheet of water called 
Fellow's Pond divides it. This is crossed by a bridge 
which gives admittance into what is called Upper and 
Lower Club, in the former of which the school and 
other matches are played, and the ground is consi- 
dered sacred to the Upper and Lower Elevens. 

Sixpenny is a corner to the left as you enter the 
Playing Fields, and here all the fights take place, with 
the exception of a few which are waged under Fifteen 
Arch Bridge; but Sixpenny is the recognised place for 
mills. Here, too, the Sixpenny Eleven play to the 
right higher up on the other side of the path. Near 
Poet's Walk is a piece of ground exclusively the pro- 
perty of boating men, called aquatics, and adjoining 
that is the place where anybody who comes first may 
pitch his wickets and play. 

There were a few boys playing in Sixpenny, and 
some more looking on and talking to one another. 
They greeted Chudleigh as an old acquaintance, but 
looked anxiously at Burke. 

Amongst them Butler Burke perceived Chorley 
the boy who had knocked the beer over him in 
the morning at the Station, and he did not feel 



THE PLAYING FIELDS. 23 

much at his ease when Chorley approached him and 
demanded in a rough voice, 

" What's your name, you new fellow ?" 

Butler Burke, remembering the insult of the morn- 
ing, and feeling angry at being spoken to in so abrupt 
a manner, made no answer. 

"Can't you speak?" said Chudleigh. "You must 
tell him;" 

" Must I ?" asked Burke. 

" Of course, didn't I say so.'' 

" Butler Burke," he answered. 

" Where do you board ?" continued the interro- 
gator. 

" He boards at Wynne's/'' said Chudleigh, as Burke 
hesitated. 

" Who's your tutor ?" asked Chorley. 

"Why, Wynne, of course," cried Chudleigh. 
"Wynne's isn't a Dame's, you fool." 

"Can't you let him answer for himself?" said 
Chorley. 

Chorley threw down his bat, and coming closer to 
Butler Burke, said loudly, "Now, who's your tutor?" 

" Tell him to fish and find out," said Chudleigh, 
who didn't choose to be interfered with. 

" He'd better !" cried Chorley. 

Butler Burke said nothing during this altercation, 
but looked rather alarmed. 



24 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" So I am to fish and find out, am I ?" exclaimed 
Chorley, with an air of astonishment. "When I ask 
a new fellow his name, the scug tells me to fish/' 

" If it is an occupation you like ; you may please 
yourself," said Chudleigh, quietly. 

" Shut up \" shouted Chorley, who was a little 
taller than Chudleigh, and thought he could thrash 
him ; " shut up, or, by Jove ! I'll give you a licking/* 

" Or get one yourself/' retorted Chudleigh, with a 
smile. 

Butler Burke felt intensely annoyed that Chudleigh 
should be involved in a quarrel on his account, and 
was just about to tell Chorley who his tutor was r 
when Chorley said again in an authoritative tone, 

" Now, who's your tutor ?" 

Chudleigh was going to speak, and did say some- 
thing about finding out, when Chorley cried, " Hold 
your row, will you?" and repeated his question to 
Butler Burke. 

Chudleigh was determined that Burke should not 
answer the question ; he would rather have milled 
Chorley, so he said, 

" I have made up my mind that he shan't be bul- 
lied by you, or any other fellow who chooses to make a 
fool of himself, so if you want to know particularly, 
as I told you before, you had better find out." 

Chorley grew red in the face with rage, and crying, 



THE PLAYING FIELDS. 25 

" Look out for yourself, then," went up to Chudleigh 
and hit him a blow in the face, which the latter pre- 
pared to return, after putting himself in an attitude of 
defence, which he had been unable to do before, owing 
to the suddenness of the attack. 

When Butler Burke saw the course events were 
taking 1 , he sprang forward with the bound of an ante- 
lope, and hastily seized a cricket-stump, armed with 
which, he approached the combatants, and with some 
violence struck Chorley on the head. After stagger- 
ing a moment, Chorley fell like a log upon the grass, 
and lay pale, and cold, and motionless. 

" Cowardly little beggar !" exclaimed half-a-dozen 
voices, running up to the scene of action, all express- 
ing sympathy and commiseration with Chorley, not 
because they liked him, for he was hated, but because 
they considered him injured in a barbarous and un- 
manly way. 

A moment's reflection showed Butler Burke that 
he had been both precipitate and headstrong, but he 
consoled himself with the thought that at least he had 
done what he had for the sake of Chudleigh, who had so 
generously protected him. At all events, he was not 
instigated by wounded pride, or any unworthy motive. 

Chudleigh knelt down almost affectionately by the 
side of Chorley, the skin of whose left temple was 
slightly abraded. 



26 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Butler Burke approached the spot, but he was 
roughly pushed away by the surrounding boys. Es- 
pying a gap between two fellows who had opened for 
the purpose of allowing a free current of air to pene- 
trate to the sufferer, who, like a corpse, was extended 
before them, Burke darted through, and seized Chucl- 
leigh's hand, which was coldly withdrawn. 

Turning to a boy near him, Chudleigh exclaimed, 
" Run to Cullifat's, and ask for a shutter." 

" You might have the decency to keep away from 
a man after killing him," said some one, addressing 
Butler Burke, who made no answer to a remark he 
but imperfectly heard; and he was surprised when 
he felt himself powerfully grasped by the shoulders, 
and with the assistance of a vigorous kick, forcibly 
expelled from the ring which had been formed round 
the sufferer. 

In a few minutes the shutter arrived from the 
Lodge ; Chorley was carefully placed upon it, and the 
dismal procession mournfully returned to College. 

Butler Burke followed slowly in the rear. 



CHAPTER III. 

"THE STOOL OF REPENTANCE." 

WHEN Chorley readied his tutor's house, the doctor 
was sent for, and on his arrival he found him lying 
down on the bed, perfectly sensible, but a little faint 
and shaken, and it was with a feeling of great relief 
that Butler Burke heard that the patient was in 
no kind of danger. Promising to send some cooling 
medicine, the doctor took his departure. 

It may easily be imagined that Butler Burke did 
not make himself very popular by what he had done 
that afternoon. For to knock a fellow down with a 
cricket-stump when he is not looking is, at best, a 
cowardly act, and so every one regarded it. 

No one could regret the occurrence more than 
Burke himself did ; but unfortunately his repentance 
came too late to avert the catastrophe. When 
Chorley was carried home, Butler Burke hung about 
the passage until the doctor went away, and then 
he asked the boy's maid whether there was any 
danger, and on being assured by her that there was 



28 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

not, he was almost beside himself with delight. As 
he stood in the passage, some of the boys who 
passed by him gave him an occasional kick, or a blow 
on the arm, calling him a dirty little coward; but, 
annoying as these petty persecutions were, he felt 
he could bear them all, and much more, now that 
there was every chance of Choi-ley's getting better. 

He had acted on impulse in striking Chorley, and 
when he saw what fatal results might have ensued, 
he shuddered, and blamed his hasty passionate temper 
more than ever. 

"I wonder," he thought, "if I can do anything 
for Chorley. Perhaps he would like some fruit, or 
some ice. There must be places in College where they 
sell such things ; I daresay, if I went about I should 
find some. It is, of course, no use to ask Chudleigh 
to go with me, because I know he would not, after 
what I did to Chorley, and yet I did it for him ; but 
never mind, I will go out and get something. Any- 
thing is better than standing about here to be chaffed 
and bullied. 

Accordingly he descended the stairs, and going 
along a passage, passing Pupil-room on his way, he 
found himself in his tutor's yard, along which he 
had to pass before he could get into the road. 

There happened to be a few boys hanging about 
talking to one another. One had a fives-ball in his 



"THE STOOL OF REPENTANCE." 29 

hand, and as he saw Burke timidly trying to pass 
by without being noticed, he cried 

" Here, you fellow ! What's your name ?" 

"Butler Burke/' he replied. 

" Burke ! Oh ! you're the man who cut Choi-ley 
over, are you ?" 

Burke made no answer, but seemed more anxious 
than ever to get away ; and making a flank move- 
ment, gained the road, and commenced running as 
hard as he could. 

" Stole away !" shouted the boy with the fives-ball. 
" I'll have a shot at him, though." 

Raising his arm a little above his shoulder, he took 
aim for an instant at Brake's retreating figure, and 
let fly. The ball flew with unerring velocity, and 
hit Burke with considerable violence on the back just 
below the shoulder blade. 

Butler Burke littered a cry, for the pain the blow 
caused him was intense. 

" You'll do it again, will you ?" " How do you 
like it?" and similar exclamations, sounded in his 
ears. 

But suppressing his tears with an effort, he ran 
on until he reached the wall nearly opposite the gate- 
way leading into School-yard. 

Here he ran v\p against Purefoy. 

"Where have you been?" asked his cousin. "I 



80 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

have been looking everywhere for you. What is all 
this row ahout Chorley?" 

" I am very sorry, I'm sure/' replied Burke. " I 
had no idea the consequences would be what they have 
turned out; when I hit Chorley, I didn't mean to 
hurt him as much as I did. I only wanted to pro- 
tect Chudleigh, because Chudleigh had been a brick 
to me. He would not let Chorley bully me, and the 
fact is, I acted without thinking." 

"You cut Chorley over the head with a stump, 
though, didn't you?' said Purefoy, looking rather dis- 
pleased, and not altogether satisfied with Buvke's 
explanation. 

" Yes, I did ; but you know, he was going to pitch 
into Chudleigh." 

"That is no reason why you should have done 
what you did," replied Purefoy. " But the thing is 
over now, and you must stand the chaff and the 
annoyance it will bring upon you as well as you 
can." 

" I do think it rather hard for you to side against 
me," murmured Butler Burke ; " I expected that you 
would take my part, for, after all, I have done nothing 
so very bad. Chorley is getting on all right." 

" I don't care for that. It might have been much 
worse ; and you should have had more command over 
your temper, Butts," said Purefoy. " But the thing is 



"THE STOOL OF REPENTANCE." 31 

over now, and I don't want to say anything more 
about it. I have told you I cannot approve of what 
you have done, but after having given you my opinion, 
I forget it all, and we are as good friends as ever." 

"Thanks," replied Burke. "I feel easier when you 
talk to me in that way, for it would be awfully 
beastly to come to a new place, and make a lot of 
enemies by a stupid act, and at the same time lose 
one's only friend." 

" I shall always be your friend, Butts, whatever 
happens ; but let us talk of something else. Where 
were you going when I met you ?" 

ee I was going to buy some grapes and things for 
for well, hang it, for Chorley," answered Butler 
Burke, rather timidly. 

" The idea does you credit," said Purefoy. " There 
is nothing to be ashamed of in buying things for him. 
If he refused to take them, I think you would still be 
doing right in offering them to him." 

" I don't know where to go, though, to get them. 
You forget I am new to the school." 

" So you are ; I did almost forget it. You want 
some grapes, don't you, and some ices? I think it is 
almost too early in summer half to get ices, but you 
may get some grapes. It is no use going to Brown's. 
They don't keep them. Webber's may have some, if 
not, you will have to go up to Knox's." 



82 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Tarts, cakes, and buns to-day, sir ? the learned 
Purefoy, sir ?" exclaimed a voice at his elbow. 

Butler Burke turned round to see who had so un- 
ceremoniously interrupted their conversation. The 
speaker was a man of about sixty years of age, stout 
and rather tall, with a somewhat florid complexion, 
clad in a coat which was of a hybrid nature, a cross, 
in fact, between a great and a frock-coat. This was 
buttoned up to his chin. An insinuating smile sat 
upon his mouth, and he seemed, take him altogether, 
to be a standing triumph over apoplexy. 

A tin case filled with cakes and savoury sweetmeats 
of all kinds stood by his side. 

" Tarts, cakes, and buns to-day, sir ?" again saluted 
Purefoy's ears. 

" Not to-day, Spankey. I have only just left home, 
and your muck might not exactly agree with me/' 
said Purefoy. 

" Some very fine almond-cakes, sir. Try a bun with 
some raspberry-jam, sir/' replied Spankey, with the 
same unctuous smile. 

" Are you going to tick this half, Spankey ?" 

" No, sir ; no. The head master doesn't allow it." 

" Ticking some fellows is like feeding an elephant 
on sponge-cakes, isn't it, Spankey ? You never know 
when you have done." 

"Mr. Chorley, sir, he owes me fivc-and-twenty 



"THE STOOL, OF REPENTANCE." 83 

shillings. Has Mr. Chorley come back yet, sir?" said 
Spankey. 

" You must find that out for yourself, Spankey ; I'm 
not n amateur detective. Come along, Butts." 

So saying, Purefoy linked his arm in Burke's, and 
they walked towards Barnes Pool. As they went, 
they heard Spankey's oily voice, saying, " Any tarts, 
cakes, or buns to-day, sir ?" 

"Who is that?" asked Butler Burke of his 
cousin. 

" Who ? Spankey. Oh ! he is great fun. I buy 
things of him sometimes ; he is the most respectable 
soc-man going. You must cultivate Spankey. He 
has got 'Burke's Landed Gentry/ two or three 
' Peerages/ ' Hardwicke's County Families/ and every- 
thing through which he can find out who and what 
fellows are. He asked me one day if I belonged to 
the Warwickshire Purefoys, and when I told him that 
they were another branch, he wouldn't tick me any 
more." 

" Would you advise me to have a tick with him ?" 
asked Burke. 

" Well, Spankey is as decent a fellow to tick with 
as you will find ; but I don't approve of ticking ; it is 
running into debt, and it teaches one extravagant 
habits. I never tick anywhere now, and I don't mean 
to anymore ; but if you must tick, you may as well 
3 



84 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

do it with him as with any one else. But here we are 
at Webber's." 

Unfortunately they could get no grapes there, and 
they went on to Knox's. As they were going along, 
they passed a respectable-looking confectioner's, but 
Purefoy went past without stopping. 

" Why not go in there, Purefoy ?" asked Burke. 

" There! I wouldn't go in there for anything. 
That's Long's. It is a beastly tug's hole." 

" A tug's hole ? What's that ?" 

" Why, that's where the collegers go ; we met two 
or three just now; those fellows with gowns on. 
You would get chaffed if any of my tutor's fellows 
saw you there." 

At Knox's they succeeded in getting some grapes, 
with which they returned to College. Just as they 
got near the bridge, a boy came by quickly and ex- 
claimed, "Cave! Woodford !" directly afterwards 
darting into a shop. 

"We must shirk," cried Purefoy; "there's a master 
coming. That fellow who told us has gone into tap ; 
it is too far off now, we must go into Devereux's. 
Come on !" 

Closely followed by Butler Burke, Purefoy entered a 
hosier's shop, and there remained until the master had 
gone by ; then emerging from their harbour of refuge, 
the boys went through College to their tutor's. 



"THE STOOL OF REPENTANCE." 35 

"You have not seen your room, yet, have you?" 
asked Purefoy. 

" Yes; I just looked into it. It is next to Choi-ley's/' 

" Oh ! that one ; it used to be Prettyman's last 
half. It isn't half a bad room. Will you take the 
grapes to Chorley, or shall I ?" 

" I wish you would ; you needn't say who sent you ; 
I would rather he did not know who they came from, 
because he might refuse to have them. Can't you 
say you brought them from home with you, and you 
thought he would like some?" replied Burke. 

"I can, certainly/' said Purefoy, looking Butler 
Burke steadily in the face, " but I don't think I 
shall." 

"Why not?" demanded Burke, not a little asto- 
nished at his friend's answer. 

" Why not ? can't you guess ? Well, I will soon tell 
you. In the first place, it would be telling what in 
plain language people call a lie, and 1 never dr that 
under any circumstances; and secondly " 

"I did not want you to do anything wrong, upon 
my word, Purefoy," cried Burke, rather passionately; 
"only you are so very strict. I thought you might 
say you brought them back with you without travel- 
ling a great way from the truth." 

" Never mind, I will take them to Chorley. You 
go into your room and put your books and things 
33 



36 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

straight, if Susan hasn't already done it, and wait 
till I come ; I shan't be long." 

Butler Burke followed his cousin's advice, and as 
Purefoy entered Chorley's room, he went into his own. 
Here he found Susan, the boys' maid, busily engaged 
in unpacking his wardrobe, and stowing everything 
away in one of the three drawers of the bureau. 
Susan was a strong, stout woman of forty, or more, 
with no pretensions to beauty, but her good-natured 
face was a redeeming point, which made her popular 
with the boys. Burke sat down on a chair and 
looked on. 

"Miss your home, sir, don't you?" said Susan. 
" Most gentlemen do a little at first, but when they 
get settled they are as comfortable here as anywhere. 
Find that chair rather hard to sit upon, sir ? Sol 
should think ; it is hard it is all made of wood. Get 
your own arm-chair soon, though, sir, of course. Get 
a very nice one cushions and all at Barton's, for 
thirty shillings leastways, Mr. Purefoy did. Mr. 
Purefoy your cousin, sir? Indeed! nice gentleman 
Mr. Purefoy very nice young gentleman. Your tutor 
thinks a deal of Mr. Purefoy, he does. He is very 
quiet and nice, and works uncommon hard; never 
gives any trouble, and sleeps like a lamb. His bed 
in the morning is just as it was at night ; the things 
not rumpled a bit. The sheets aint here, and the 



"THE STOOL OF REPENTANCE." 37 

blankets there, and the pillows somewhere else, as 
they is in some gentlemen's rooms. There's Mr. 
Chorley, now, him that's lying ill in the next room, 
he's awful. I speak to him, but Lor', it aint of no 
use talking; he only laughs and says, 'All right, Suke !' 
and plump comes a pillow a thundering against my 
head. They do say as he had a fight this afternoon 
in the Playing Fields, and that some new young gentle- 
man up with a cricket-ball and threw it at him, cut- 
ting his head open frightful. A cricket-stump, was it, 
sir? and you did it. No, you are joking with me. 
Did you really now, sir? Well, I am sure -you did 
not do it intentionally. Oh ! you did it for Mr. 
Chudleigh; Mr. Cborley was going to lick Mr. Chud- 
leigh, was he, now? and all through you. Ah ! it was 
a great pity. You'll find, sir, we don't do those 
things here. It is what we call cowardly. But you'll 
soon find your level, as they say; and if Mr. Chorley 
do .lick you when he gets well, you'll soon get used 
to it." 

This was not a very cheering prospect for Butler 
Burke, but as Purefoy at this moment entered his 
room, bis thoughts were turned into another channel. 

" Chorley has accepted the grapes, and likes them 
very much," said Purefoy ; " I did not tell him they 
were from you, which was fortunate, for he is in a 
great bate with you ; he says he likes your pluck in 



88 ETON SCHOOL PAYS. 

sticking up for Chudleigh, but you didn't do it in a 
proper manner ; and he declares when he gets well in 
a day or two that he will give you a tremendous 
hiding/' 

" I wish I knew boxing/' said Butler Burke, " and 
then, perhaps, he wouldn't be so cockey about licking 
me. Science, you know, is better than brute force, 
and although Chorley is older and bigger than me, if 
I knew how to mill I wouldn't stand still to be 
licked." 

Although Butler Burke spoke like this, he did not 
at all like the prospect before him. He thought him- 
self unlucky at getting into hot water so soon after 
his arrival at Eton, and now and then a wish that he 
was at home again with his mother and Letty would 
creep into his mind, and turn his thoughts towards 
the old familiar faces. 

" Will you have your fire lighted, sir ? I think you'll 
find it cold enough," said Susan, striking a match aa 
Butler Burke replied in the affirmative. 

" Don't be down in the mouth, Butts," exclaimed 
Purefoy, good-naturedly. " If Chorley does lick you it 
wont kill you. I must confess you deserve it. But 
if it's any consolation to you, I heard Chudleigh say 
that Chorley would have to mill him before he touched 
you. He said you were wrong in doing what you 
did, but you were a new fellow and didn't know any 



" THE STOOL OP REPENTANCE.** 89 

better, and you did it for him, so he would n't see you 
bullied. It is rather funny, though, that Chorley 
should have begun to bully you at the Station, and 
that you should have so signal a revenge a few hours 
afterwards." 

" What time do we go to bed?" said Butler Burke, 
yawning. 

" We have tea at six, and that reminds me that I 
want mine. Lay my things, will you, Sukey? and get 
me a kettle. And we have lock-up at a quarter to 
seven, but it will soon get lighter in the evening, as 
the days get longer, and in about six weeks we shall 
have lock-up at a quarter to nine. We have supper 
at nine, and prayers at half-past, and Sukey takes 
Lower boys' candles at ten, fifth Form have them 
till half- past, and if I ask permission, my tutor lets 
me have mine till eleven or twelve, that is, if I want 
to sap particularly at anything. Cut along, Sukey, 
I am sure you have been fiddling about that fire long 
enough. If it wont burn, let it alone. Burke is 
going to mess with me, and I know my fire is all 
right, for I lighted it an hour ago, before I went out." 

Butler Burke felt much refreshed after a cup of tea 
and a few slices of tongue, and when Purefoy pulled 
his comfortable-looking red damask curtains over the 
window, and poked up the fire, he felt more at home 
than he had yet done. Purefoy's room was prettily 



40 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

furnished. A neat Brussels carpet covered the floor; 
his oaken bureau had been varnished, and the panels 
of the upper part had been replaced with crimson silk 
and wire-work ; prints of pictures by the best masters 
adorned the walls, and a handsome glass surmounted 
the mantelpiece, which was covered with red velvet. 
Altogether it was very snug and comfortable, and as 
Butler Burke sat there, talking to his cousin about 
the old folks at home, he thought that there might be 
worse places for a fellow to come to than Eton. 



CHAPTER IV. 

"OlINIS AB OVO." 

BUTLER BURKE was placed in middle Fourth, and 
as his studies had been well directed at home, he found 
himself tolerably well up to his work. Verses rather 
bothered him at first, but after a while, with a little 
coaching up from Purefoy, he soon made himself master 
of the contents of his ec Gradus ad Parnassum," and 
was in a fair way of reaching that classic mount. He 
had not so much trouble with his Themes, for he was 
really a good hand at Latin prose, and his composi- 
tions were usually very creditable. He found he 
could manage his Long Ovid and Caesar without the 
help of a c crib.' But Farnaby was not so easy, though 
he seldom came to positive grief as he got a construe 
from some friend or other before school. Altogether 
his tutor was pleased with him, and much to the 
gratification of his friends, wrote home a satisfactory 
account of him. His exploit with the cricket-stump 
was gradually forgotten, although the boys in his 
tutor's house rather avoided him, which threw him a 



42 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

good deal in the society of Purefoy. Now this was a 
most fortunate thing for Butler Burke, because it 
made him lay in a foundation of learning which was 
of great use to him afterwards when he spent his 
time in a slightly different mariner, as will be duly 
detailed. At the end of his fortnight's grace he com- 
menced fagging, and was fortunate in falling to the 
lot of his cousin, who gave him very little to do, and 
whatever he did d6 was for himself as well, because, as 
I have already said, they messed together. When 
you have to go to "Webber's for sausages, or to Barns's 
for spiced-beef or brawn, it is not a pleasant reflection 
as you bring the things back to your tutor's to think 
that they are for some other fellow ; and college rolls, 
as I brought them hot and fresh from the bakehouse, 
were never so tempting to me as when I had been to get 
them for my te master/' and knew that, that morning 
at all events, for me such luxuries were not. Burke had 
not run into debt to any great extent, but he incurred 
a liability to the amount of five shillings with one of 
the men at the wall, for as he did not always carry 
money about with him, he found it rather convenient 
to tick things as he was going in to, or coming out 
of, school, but when the sum reached one-fourth of a 
pound, he invariably, after the manner of capitalists, 
discharged the Israelite's claim upon him. The Jew in 
question was called Levi, who was a rival of Spankey's, 



" OMNIS AB OVO." 48 

a long, thin individual, with a sallow face, and cork- 
screwy ringlets, was this Jew, who might have been 
taken for the lineal descendant of the impenitent thief. 
Scales and weights did he despise much, using his 
hands in lieu of them. So it may be imagined that a 
pennyworth of anything varied exceedingly, being 
sometimes more and sometimes less; but veracity com- 
pels us to say more frequently the latter. 

Burke had learned to row at home, and could swim 
well, but he found that as yet neither of his accom- 
plishments was of any avail, as it was too early and 
too cold for bathing, and one of the rules of the school 
is, that no boy shall go on the river until he shall have 
passed in swimming. So he took refuge in fishing, 
for he did not like cricket, and he would bring home 
many a nice basket of fish to show for his morn- 
ing's work ; and when occasionally he hooked a 
leviathan of the deep in the shape of a three or four 
pound trout, or a small pike, he would send it in to his 
tutor with his compliments, through the instrumen- 
tality of Bill Jones, the butler, and so, owing to one 
thing and another, to his fishing, to his being a good 
deal with Purefoy, and to his being well up to his 
school work, Butler Burke became looked upon as a, 
slow sort of fellow, rather mild than otherwise, and 
he was taken very little notice of. Probably he would 
get a kick from Chorley as he passed him in the 



44 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

passage, but that was all the attention that he con- 
descended to pay him. He had not carried out his 
original intention of licking him, possibly owing to 
Chudleigh's vehement objection to such a proceeding, 
and at last Burke was generally regarded as a " man 
who would take well in collections or trials, but who 
would never do anything else worth talking about ; 
never be a boating man or in the Eleven, you know." 
But, as will be seen eventually, this was a mistaken 
estimate of an undeveloped character. 

Mr. Wynne took quite a fancy to Burke, and 
amongst other little kindnesses he showed him, he 
gave him permission to sit and read in his garden 
occasionally. Mr. Wynne's garden was a very pretty 
one, and somewhat extensive. It was quite at the 
back of the house, and could not be seen from the part 
occupied by the boys themselves. Mr. Wynne's house 
was constructed in a peculiar manner. It seemed as 
if the house occupied by himself and his family had 
been first built, and afterwards a wing extending 
some distance in the rear had been added. This wing 
contained three corridors, one on the ground-floor 
leading to the kitchen and domestic offices, another 
on the first floor, and the third above that. The two 
latter ones leading to the boys' rooms, which opened 
upon them from the right hand. The garden was 
nicely stocked with flowers in one part, and fruit and 



45 

vegetables in another. Butler Burke's favourite resort 
was an arbour covered with clematis, jasmine, .and 
honeysuckle, all blending together in charming con- 
fusion. Close to him, and visible from a little window 
in the arbour, was a pheasantry containing ten or a 
dozen beautiful pheasants, whose eggs, Mrs. Wynne, 
being in delicate health, found very beneficial. These 
pheasants Butler Burke was very fond of, and would 
often bring them a few sponge-cakes or some biscuits. 
But they involved Burke in a very unpleasant dilemma, 
which afterwards became of a serious character, and 
entailed disagreeable consequences upon him. Some- 
body one day abstracted the pheasants' eggs from the 
nests, and suspicion did not exactly fall upon Burke, 
but Mr. Wynne asked him in a friendly way if he 
had taken any eggs. 

" I don't for a moment suppose, Burke, that you 
have. I only ask you in order to satisfy my own mind. 
You were in the garden a good deal, and I should like 
to have the assurance from your own lips," said Mr. 
Wynne. 

" No, sir, I have not touched them. I never for a 
moment dreamed of such a thing. I have looked 
at the birds, and fed them occasionally, but I really 
did not know whether they laid or not," replied 
Burke. 

"Well, I am glad to hear you say so, although 



46 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

your answer is only just what I expected. Of course 
I need not tell you that you may go into the garden 
just the same as usual." 

"Thank you, sir/' said Butler Burke, as Mr. 
Wynne walked away. 

A few days passed, and Burke forgot all about the 
pheasants and their eggs. He considered the incident 
a trifling one, and allowed it to escape from his memory. 
He did not even mention it to Purefoy, but one morn- 
ing after prayers he happened to go into the passage 
in order to see if there were any letters, it being the 
custom to place the letters on a window-sill opposite 
the butler's pantry. As it happened, there were none 
either fdr himself or for Purefoy, and he was just going 
upstairs, when Bill Jones, the butler, came out of the 
dining-room with a tray, upon which were the remains 
of Mr. Wynne's breakfast. Amongst other things on 
the tray, Butler Burke perceived a pheasant's eg^. 
Going into the pantry, he said, " Let me have that 

egg/' 

"Can't, sir," replied Jones; "your tutor may 
ask for it. Would if I could, sir." 

" Oh, never mind ! no one will miss it. I never 
had a pheasant's egg in my life. I should like one 
awfully." 

"Now, sir, you are in my way !" exclaimed Jones. 

" Oh, hang that 1 I am going to have that egg," 



"OMNIS AB OVO." 47 

replied Burke, going to the tray, and laying hold of it 
before Jones could prevent him. 

"Now, Mr. Burke, that's too bad!" said Jones. 
" Give it here ; you will only get me into trouble." 

" Not if I know it," said Butler Burke, in high glee 
at having secured the egg. 

" Come, sir, give it me!" said Jones, getting angry. 

But all Jones's arguments and persuasion were 
useless. Burke had the egg, and had made up his 
mind to stick to it. When Jones saw this clearly, 
he altered his manner, and said 

" Well, sir, throw the shell away when you have 
eaten the egg. And if anything should come of it you 
wont get me into trouble." 

" All right ; I wont get you into a row," replied 
Burke. 

Putting the egg in his pocket, he went upstairs to 
his room, and put his egg- boiling saucepan upon the 
fire, because, although the egg had been already 
cooked, it was now cold. 

" I wont let Purefoy know I have got the egg ; he 
might jaw me for taking it from Bill Jones. The 
best thing I can do is to cook it quietly in my own. 
room, and after I have eaten it I can shy the shell 
into the fire, and then Jones can't get into any row." 

While reasoning in this way, Butler Burke had 
nearly cooked his egg, and was just going to take 



48 ETOX SCHOOL DAYS. 

it off the fire, when he heard a footstep in his 
room. Turning round, he was somewhat surprised to 
meet his tutor. I wont say that he was alarmed at 
this unexpected meeting, but he had a strange feeling 
that it would be productive of some unpleasantness, 
although what it would consist of, or what its nature 
would be, he could hardly have said. 

" I have just come upstairs to say that your dame 
is very unwell this morning, Burke/' exclaimed 
Mr. Wynne, " and I shall take it as a favour if you 
will ask all the Lower boys on your passage not to 
make more noise than they can possibly help." 

" Certainly, sir ; I will tell every one I meet, or I 
will go to the different rooms," replied Burke. 

" What have you got there ? " inquired Mr. Wynne, 
indicating with his finger the saucepan on the fire. 

" Only an egg, sir." 

" It is boiling, I can see. Let me take it out for 
you while you hold the saucepan," said Mr. Wynne, 
kindly. 

" Thank you, sir," answered Butler Burke, getting 
very red in the face j " I shouldn't like to trouble you." 

This proposition was extremely distasteful to Butler 
Burke, because he did not wish his tutor to see the 
pheasant's egg. He thought, and with some show of 
reason, that it might excite a suspicion in Mr. Wynne's 
mind that it was one of the stolen eggs. 



"OMNIS AB OVO." 49 

" It will be no trouble/' said Mr. Wynn u, with a 
smile. "Bring the saucepan here, and gire me a 
spoon ; I will soon have it out."" 

Mr. Wynne spoke in a manner which showed he 
had made up his mind to assist Burke, who saw that 
there was no help for it ; and, taking up the sauce- 
pan, he lifted the lid off, and handing his tutor a 
spoon, awaited the sequel in some trepidation. 

" But why should it matter to me ?" he said to him- 
self; "I did not bag the egg from the garden. It 
was an egg that my tutor evidently did not want, or 
else he would not have sent it away/* 

"What have we here?" exclaimed Mr. Wynne, 
bringing the pheasant's egg to the light. "Why, 
Burke, where did you get this ?" 

" Please, sir, I " Here Butler Burke com- 
pletely broke down. He now felt the thoroughly 
false position he was in. " If I tell my tutor that I got 
it from Bill Jones I shall get him into a row, and I 
promised him I would not do that. Besides, I would 
rather be punished myself than he should get into 
trouble. Certainly he didn't give me the egg, but, 
anyhow, he was responsible for it. Confound it ! I 
don't know what to do." 

"Well, Burke, I am waiting for your expla- 
nation," said Mr. Wynne, sternly, looking fixedly 
at him , 

4 



50 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Butler Burke, being utterly at a loss for a reply, 
remained silent. 

" I wish you would speak, Burke/' continued Mr. 
Wynne, " because I can only suppose from your 
silence what I should be very sorry to entertain for a 
moment. Of course you know what I mean. But 
perhaps you bought some eggs somewhere ?" 

"No, sir, I did not," replied Burke. 

" Or you had them sent from home ?" 

"No, sir" again replied Burke. 

" In that case, what am I to suppose ? what can I 
suppose ?" 

Butler Burke looked steadily at the carpet, as if the 
pattern had suddenly assumed a great interest in his 
eyes. 

" Now, Burke, I am going to ask you a question ; 
will you answer me truly ?" said Mr. Wynne. 

" Yes, sir ; you may rely upon that." 

" Well, if I do you any injustice by putting such a 
question to you, you must, under the circumstances, 
refrain from accusing me of intentionally hurting your 
feelings." 

" Oh yes, sir," replied Burke. 

" My question is very simple," said Mr. Wynne. 
" Is that egg one of mine ?" 

Butler Burke could only conscientiously reply that 
it was ; and so he said " Yes, sir, it is." 



"OMNIS AB OVO." 51 

" Then may I ask how it came into your possession ?" 

This was the turning point in the whole affair. If 
Burke s.aid that he took it from the butler, he would 
most likely get that worthy into temporary disgrace, 
but triumphantly acquit himself; and there were many 
reasons to induce him to adopt that course. In the 
first place, if he maintained a strict secrecy as to how he 
became possessed of the egg, he would lay himself 
open to the very grave suspicion of having stolen it 
from the pheasant-house, or at all events of being 
au accomplice after the fact. 

"Please, sir," exclaimed Butler Burke, "I don't 
like to ; I can't tell you." 

"You can't tell me. Now listen to me. It will 
be much better for you to tell me the whole history of 
the affair. I will not go so far as to say that you 
took the egg from my pheasant-house, but it appears 
you must either have done that, or have received it 
from some one else who did. Upon one of the horns 
of this dilemma you must rest." 

Burke made no reply. 

" Well," said Mr. Wynne, " I will suppose that you 
will not betray your friend ; only, I must say this, 
Burke, your conduct to-day is not what you have 
hitherto led me to expect from you, and I don't think 
it is either kind or proper for you to be on friendly 
terms with any one who has done what your friend 
4 2, 



62 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

evidently has. I shall make it my affair to discover who 
the principal culprit is ; but, until I make the discovery, 
or until you choose to divulge the name of your accom- 
plice " Butler Burke winced at this " of your 
accomplice, you will bring me every day, at one, a 
hundred lines of Virgil." 

And with a, look of intense annoyance, Mr. Wynne 
left the room, and went downstairs to Pupil-voom. 

" How very unfortunate !" soliloquized Burke, when 
his tutor left him alone. " He evidently thinks I know 
who took the eggs, and wont give him up. I wish I 
had never seen the egg. I can't eat it now. I'll shy 
it away." 

Taking it in his hand, he threw it through his open 
door into the passage. It hit the wall, but being 
boiled hard, it did not break, but rolled back towards 
Chorley's room. 

In about a minute, Chorley himself, holding the 
egg in his hand, came into Butler Burke's room, 
exclaiming, " I say, where did you get this ?" 

" I don't see that it's anything to you where I got 
it," replied Burke. 

" Isn't it ? Well, we'll see about that. You bagged 
it out of my bureau, I suppose," he added, in- 
cautiously. 

" Out of your bureau ! I am sure I didn't. I had 
no idea you went in for pheasants' eggs." 



" OMXIS AB OVO." 53 

" Hadn't you ? I suppose I can have pheasants' 
eggs sent me as well as any one else/' replied Chorley, 
who went back to his own room. 

Butler Burke, after a little reflection, went to Purefoy, 
and told him everything as it had occurred, not omitting 
the last incident in the drama of Chorley suddenly ap- 
pearing and demanding where he had obtained the egg. 

" Omnis ab ovo," exclaimed Purefoy, as Burke 
iinished his recital ; " that is, in the present case, every 
evil springs from the egg." 

" Do be serious ; you see what a row I am in," 
pleaded Burke. 

" I know ; but I dare say we shall unravel it in a 
little time. I think Chorley's asking you the question 
he did looks very seedy. I tell you what, I think 
Chorley took the eggs." 

"Do you? By Jove! it looks like it. I'll go and 
tell my tutor," cried Burke. And before Purefoy could 
stop him, he had run downstairs, and stood before 
Mr. Wynne, who was correcting some Themes at his 
desk in Pupil-room. 

"Please, sir," said Butler Burke, "I know at 
least I think I know who took the eggs." 

"Well, who was it?" was the calm reply. 

" Chorley, sir." 

" Why do you say so ? Did you get your egg 
from him?" 



54 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"No, sir; but " 

"Then I tell you flatly that I don't believe you, 
Burke. I am very sorry to be harsh with you, but 
I don't at all like the way in which you have behaved 
fill through this affair/' rejoined Mr. Wynne. " And 
now I think of it, Chorley is the boy you quarrelled 
with on your arrival here. Your present charge 
against him, therefore, looks very suspicious ; and I 
don't altogether like boys who are so very eager to 
say things about others, in order to exculpate them- 
selves." 

Mr. Wynne went on correcting a Theme, and 
Burke stood a moment looking very crestfallen. 

" Please, sir," he began, making another effort to 
explain matters. 

" I can't talk to you now, I am busy," said 
Mr. Wynne. And Burke, very unhappy, went out of 
the room and returned to Purefoy. 

" I wish you wouldn't do things in such a hurry," 
said Purefoy. ( ' To go to one's tutor in that way isn't 
the thing to do here, and if you are so impulsive, you 
will never do any good. Well, now you have been, 
tell me what passed." 

Burke related his interview, and Purefoy said, " It 
is evident my tutor is angry, and prejudiced against 
you ; so you must leave the thing to me for a day or 
two, and do your poena. In the mean time I will da 



"OMNIS AB OVO." 55 

all I can to find out whether Chorley really did take 
the eggs; and if I cannot find out anything 1 , why the 
best thing you can do is to say that you. got the one 
you had from Bill Jones." 

Some days passed after this conversation between 
Butler Burke and Purcfoy, but the latter made no dis- 
covery which would in any way exonerate his cousin, 
and Burke went on regularly every day at one, 
showing up a hundred lines of Virgil. This was a 
very unsatisfactory state of things, and Burke found 
the punishment very irksome; so much so, that he 
felt inclined to go to his tutor and tell him the real 
state of the case; but whenever he had almost made 
up his mind to do so, he thought that it would not 
be proper to get the butler into trouble, as he had 
promised not to. 

It was undoubtedly too late now to go to Chorley, 
and accuse him of having the eggs, because, even if 
they ever had been in his possession, they would have 
been devoured long ago, and Chorley might, and very 
probably would, throw open his bureau, and say, " If 
you don't believe me, you had better look." 



56 



CHAPTER V. 

THE MYSTERY CLEARED UP. 

A FORTNIGHT passed a\vay, and still Butler Burke 
every day at one presented those horribly wearying 
hundred lines. He gave up his fishing now, for he 
had no time for it. The hundred lines cut up his 
after twelves, and after four he had some work or 
other to do, while after six, at present was not long 
enough. Purefoy was utterly unable to make any dis- 
covery, and Butler Burke was beginning to think 
himself the most unlucky boy in the world, and to 
walk about with his eyes on the ground, as if con- 
templating instant and deliberate suicide. 

One day when Burke came as usual with his eternal 
hundred lines, Mr. Wynne said to him, " Why not 
be a little candid with me, Burke? You must be a boy 
of a very obstinate disposition." 

" Indeed I am not, sir," replied Butler Burke, the 
tears springing into his eyes. 

" Well then, why not tell me all about that un- 
fortunate egg ? I am determined to find out, and if 



THE MYSTERY CLEARED UP. 57 

you think that I shall forget all about it, I beg to assure 
you that you are greatly mistaken. Come, you had 
better confess who gave you the egg, for I do not think 
you took it yourself, and although I shall not think 
so highly of you as I did before, yet I shall con- 
sider that your repentance comes better late than 
never." 

" No one gave it me, sir/' replied Burke. 

" Then the inference is that you took it." 

" Not from the nest, sir." 

" Burke, I am afraid you ai-e trifling with me. 
There is something about this that I don't understand. 
I am very much displeased with you, and if I do 
not have a full confession from you by this day week, 
I will have you flogged," 

Mr. Wynne spoke very decisively, and poor Butler 
Burke walked away more thoroughly miserable than 
ever. 

When he told Purefoy this new phase in the affair, 
his cousin said, " I have an idea which may possibly 
be productive of some result; anyhow I will try it, 
and if I can make nothing out of it, I will tell my 
tutor myself how you got the egg, whether you like 
it or not. I don't see why you should allow yourself 
to be flogged for such nonsense. The pcena is bad 
enough; it is making you quite ill. You are not half 
the fellow you used to be. 1 ' 



58 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Butler Burke went to his room to write some of 
the everlasting lines, and Purefoy sought Chorley. 

" I say, Chorley/' he exclaimed, as he entered his 
room, "I want to ask you a question." 

Chorley was engaged in oiling a bat, and rubbing 
the oil in witb a stump, and replied, " All right, my 
dear Miss Purefoy ; go ahead !" 

" Miss Purefoy" was a sort of badinage that Purefoy 
often had to put up with. Chorley, and boys of his 
disposition, considered Purefoy effeminate, not only in 
his habits, but in his appearance. 

"Don't chaff, Chorley," said Purefoy, looking 
slightly annoyed : " I am serious." 

" I dare say ; you always are. Well, what is it ?" 

" Suppose a fellow has done something, and another 
fellow gets the credit of it, and in addition to that, 
gets a hundred lines at one, every day ?'* 

Chorley looked up at this wonderingly. 

"If you were the first fellow, wouldn't you give 
yourself up ?" 

" Well, I don't know exactly/' replied Chorley, 
shaking his head. 

" Well, I know a case exactly like the suppo- 
sitionary one I have just put to you. Would you like 
to hear it ? I wont keep you long," said Purefoy. 

" Fire away, then, and be as quick as you can," re- 
plied Chorley. 



THE MYSTERY CLEARED UP. 59 

" Some fellow bagged some pheasants' eggs/' began 
Purefoy, but he stopped suddenly, as Chorley started 
and dropped the bat he held in his hand. 

" What's the row ?" demanded Purefoy. 

" Oh ! nothing," replied Chorley, recovering his 
equanimity ; " go on !" 

" I was going to say that some one took a lot of 
pheasants' eggs out of my tutor's garden, and one 
dav, my tutor asked Butler Burke, who was a good 
deal in the garden, if he had touched the eggs. He 
said he hadn't, and there the affair would have ended, 
if, one morning, Burke had not taken an egg from 
a tray Bill Jones was bringing out of the dining- 
room. It was an egg my tutor had not eaten, and 
Jones made Burke promise if anything came of it, 
that he would not get him into a row. Well, Butler 
Burke took the egg upstairs, and boiled it over 
again ; but while he was doing so, my tutor came up- 
stairs, to speak to the fellows about not making a 
row, as Mrs. Wynne was not very well, and he saw the 
egg. Burke refused to account for his possession of 
it, and ever since he has had to show up a hundred 
lines at one." 

" That is rather hard lines, I think," said Chorley. 

" So I think. And what is still worse, if by this 
day week Burke does not tell all about it, he is to 
be flogged." 



60 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" By Jove ! that's too bad/' cried Chorley. 

" I was going to ask you whether, if you were the 
fellow who took the eggs " 

" I take the eggs ! Why do you say that ?" 

" I didn't say you did," answered Purefoy ; " I only 
said, suppose you had done so, and you saw what a 
row Burke was getting into, what would you do? 
Would you let him be flogged ; or would you give 
yourself up ?" 

"Well, I think I would give myself up. But I 
never knew anything about Burke having a hundred 
lines till this minute." 

" I thought all the fellows knew it," said Purefoy. 

Chorley went on oiling his bat, and Purefoy soon 
afterwards went back to Burke, and told him that lie 
thought he had made some impression on Chorley, 
but they would see in a day or two. Purefoy, from 
Chorley 's manner felt pretty confident that he \vas 
the real culprit, and he also thought that Chorley 
would gire himself up. 

"After prayers that evening, Chorley remained 
behind the others, and approached his tutor who 
was standing by the open Bible, at the head of the 
table." 

"Well, what is it? You want to stay out, I 
suppose ? You boys are always staying out," said 
Mr. Wynne, a little petulantly. 



THE MYSTERY CLEARED UP. 61 

"No, sir, I don't want to stay out; but I Imve 
something to tell you," replied Chorley. 

" Oh ! indeed/' said Mr. Wynne. 

" You remember losing some pheasants' eggs, sir ?" 
began Chorley. 

" Yes, perfectly." 

" Well, sir, I am sorry to say I took them." 

" You ! Then why did you not tell me before ?" ex- 
claimed Mr. Wynne. " Did you not know that I was 
punishing an innocent boy ?" 

"No, sir, I did not, indeed. I give you my word I 
did not until this morning," replied Chorley, looking 
his tutor boldly in the face. 

" I believe you," said Mr. Wynne. 

" It was that, sir, which made me tell you. I heard 
from Purefoy this morning that Butler Burke had the 
credit of taking the eggs, and so I thought if any 
one was punished, it ought to be me." 

"Then I suppose the egg I found in his possession 
was given him by you?" Mr. Wynne asked. 

" No, sir., it was not ; and that is the most peculiar 
thing of all. That egg was one you sent away one 
morning at breakfast, and Burke, seeing it on the 
tray, took it, and when Jones asked him to give it 
back he wouldn't, but he promised not to get Jones 
into any scrape if you should by any chance see it." 

" How do you know all this, Chorley ?" 



62 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"Purefoy told nie, sir; and Burke had told him/' 
replied Chorley. 

" I am very glad you have behaved in so manly a 
manner," said Mr. Wynne, " and I can almost forgive 
yon for taking my eggs ; but until I tell you to leave 
off you must do the punishment I gave Burke, and 
bring me a hundred lines every day at one." 

" Yes, sir," replied Chorley, looking a little disap- 
pointed. 

"Now run upstairs and send Burke to me/' 

Chorley went upstairs, and in passing Butler 
Burke's room, put in his head and said, " My tutor 
wants you, Burke. You are in for it I I wouldn't be 
you for something." 

Butler Burke, rather alarmed at this, went to the 
dining-room, where he found Mr. Wynne waiting for 
him. 

His tutor, much to his surprise, took him by the 
hand in the most kind manner and exclaimed, "I 
have done you a great injustice, Burke, but it was in a 
great measure owing to your stupidity in not making 
me your confidant/' 

Burke was at a loss to think what his tutor was 
alluding to. 

"You will be surprised to hear/' continued Mr. 
Wynne with a smile, " that I know all about the egg 
mystery ?" 



TUB MYSTERY CLEARED UP. 63 

" Oh ! I am so glad/' cried Burke. 

"And I now think as highly of you as ever. Run 
along now to your cousin, and he will, I daresay, tell 
you all about it. Good night." 

" No more lines, I suppose ?" asked Burke, laugh- 
ing. 

Mr. Wynne laughed too, and replied in the nega- 
tive. 

" Good-night, sir !" said Burke, joyfully, leaving 
the room and going upstairs three steps at a time. 

" Hurrah ! Purefoy," he cried, bursting into his 
cousin's room. "My tutor has found it all out; and 
he said you would tell me all about it. He says he 
likes me as well as ever again. How did he find it 
out ? Did you tell him who really took the eggs?" 

"You ask so many questions, my dear fellow/' 
replied Purefoy, " that I hardly know where to begin ; 
but I think Chorley took the eggs, and has given 
himself up. It is very jolly of him, and he cannot be 
such a very bad fellow after all. I told him this 
morning that you were being punished for some other 
fellow's offence, and knowing that he was actually 
guilty, he has made all the reparation in his power." 

" Hurrah for Chorley, then !" said Butler Burke. 
" I shall like him, I think, after this." 

Butler Burke got on better than ever after this 
little episode in his career, and became rather friendly 



64 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

with Chorley, who began to take a fancy to him. 
Chorley initiated him into the mysteries of "tap," 
and taught him to drink beer. The X was also visited 
by them on Sunday after four, and Butler Burke 
learned how to drink brandy-and- water, but tobacco 
was as yet a luxury his .stomach would not allow him 
to enjoy. 

It being an early summer, bathing began earlier 
than usual, and Burke passed in the first batch that 
offered themselves. He was not long after this in 
getting a boat at Goodman's, and he became looked 
upon as a pretty good oar. Chorley took him up the 
river and inducted him into the mysteries of shandy- 
gaff at Surly ; and once they penetrated as far as 
Monkey Island, and came down with their caps full 
of roses, as is the custom. 

Purefoy looked on at all this with some displeasure, 
but made no remark. He did not like Butler Burke's 
growing intimacy with Chorley, and he determined 
to take an early opportunity of saying so. They were 
now getting into the middle of summer-half, and the 
4th of June was approaching. 



G5 



CHAPTER VI. 

"JDAGON FALLS DOWN/' 

OXE morning at breakfast Purefoy said to Butle 
Burke, 

*' I wish you were not quite so friendly with Chorley \ 
he is not exactly the sort of acquaintance I like to see 
you make/'' 

" I don't see why you should say that/' replied 
Burke, rather hurt. " I should not like to do anything; 
you would not approve of; but I must say I think 
Chovley a brick. You don't know him as well as I 
do; and he is really a much nicer fellow than he 
seems/' 

" You did not think so once, though. I remember 
the time when you were of a totally different opinion/' 
said Purefoy, with a quiet smile, which slightly 
irritated Butler Burke. 

"Ah ! that was when I first came/' he said. 

" Chorley may be a brick ; I don't say anything 
about that ; but I don't like the way he goes on. He 
will teach you to drink and smoke. You are already 
5 



66 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

a great deal altered since you have been about with 
him." 

" What else ?" demanded Burke, doggedly. 

"I will tell you/' replied Purefoy, earnestly. "I 
have made up my mind for some time past to remon- 
strate with you ; and I think the present time will do 
as well as any." 

"Very well/' said Burke, cracking an egg. 

" I saw Tarver the other day, and he told me you 
hardly came to him now more than once a fortnight; 
and you know you used to come to my room in the 
evening and read a little Telemaque, or whatever it 
was." 

" I have something else to do now," interposed 
Burke. 

"Exactly; that is what I complain of," said 
Purefoy. " And another thing, I saw my tutor tear 
over your Theme yesterday ; and last week you had to 
show up a second edition of verses, and all because 
you muddle your head at Surly or the Christopher 
with Chorley." 

Purefoy said this rather bitterly. 

"Well, what's the odds?" replied Butler Burke, 
carelessly, helping himself to some anchovy paste. 

"A great deal, as you will find out." 

" I don't think so ; I am very jolly at present," 
answered Burke. 



"DAGON FALLS DOWX." 67 

" Well, it can't last/' said Purefoy. " My only 
hope is that you will get sick of it, and see what a 
fool you have been/' 

"No chance of that, old fellow/' replied Butler 
Burke, with an assumption of indifference. 

Just at this moment Chudleigh came into the room. 

" Do you know Homer, Purefoy ?" asked Chudleigh. 

" No, I have not looked at the lesson yet." 

" I am sure I don't know why you ever do; you are 
such a cheese. I want you to give me a construe. I 
would not have bothered you, only that fool Beau- 
mont has locked up the crib, and I think he has gone 
up to Athens to bathe. At all events, we cannot 
find him anywhere/' 

"Oh! do you know," cxdaimed Purefoy, "my 
tutor knocked me up at half-jlst five this morning, 
and asked me if I felt inclinerrfQr a swim. Of course 
I said yes, and we walked to Cuckoo Weir, and had a 
jolly bathe at Acropolis." 

"By Jove! how jolly of him," replied Chudleigh. 
" But I say, do you think you can construe me ?" 

" I'll try," said Purefoy, opening his bureau and 
taking down his Homer. "Where is it, ' nvXiv^tro 
\aoQ avaiSrjQ,' was that the last line?" 

" I think it was. Just pitch us your Liddell and 
Scott. All right, go ahead !" cried Chudleigh ; 
ovcuSqe, that's it." 

52 



03 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

While the construing was going on, Butler Burke 
finished his breakfast and went to his own. room to 
do some Greek derivations. He found Chorley sitting 
in his arm-chair, reading one of Marryat's novels 
" Snarley Yow, or the Dog Fiend/' 

t: Where have you been ?" he asked ; " I have been 
looking for you." 

" I have been talking to Purefoy/' replied Butler 
Burke. 

" Purefoy ! You are always with Purefoy." 

" Indeed I am not. I am more with you now. 
Once I used to be always with him/' said Butler 
Burke. 

"I don't like him," exclaimed Chorley, after a 
pause. 

" Well, I can't help that. I suppose I may know 
any one I choose," replied Burke, looking up from his 
Lexicon. 

" Why don't you cut mess with him and mess with 
me ?" said Chorley. 

" I am sure I shan't; I am very jolly as I am." 

" Well, don't get excited over it. You know I 
l.afce saps; and you can't deny that he is one of the 
beastliest saps in the school." 

" Don't you slang Purefoy, Chorley, because I wont 
have it," cried Burke. 

"Oh, indeed!" 



" Purefoy is my cousin, and I know him at home, 
and my mater is a great friend of his mater's, and 
all that sort of thing. He is a very good fellow if he 
was not so slow. And he is a great deal cleverer than 
you will ever be, I can tell you." 

" He'd Letter go to a girls' school, and you had 
better go with him," said Chorley, who seemed in- 
dined to quarrel with Burke. 

" I advise you to shut up, Chorley," cried Butler 
Burke. 

" I should recommend you both to learn crochet 
and sewing," sneered Chorley. 

" Look here," said Burke ; " I don't want to have 
a row with you, Chorley, but you know 1 am not the 
sort of fellow I was when I first came, and if you go 
on chairing me you may drive me to do something 
you will not like." 

" I am not afraid of anything you may do, my dear 
fellow," replied Chorley, superciliously. 

" No, I dare say not ; I suppose you think you can 
lick me easily, but you may depend upon it, you will 
not do it without a fight," said Butler Burke, placidly. 

" Oh, indeed ! Wont it shock the sanctity of your 
friend, Purefoy?" 

" I don't know about that ; but I am now very 
much inclined to believe what he said about you/' 
replied Burke, unguardedly. 



70 ETOX SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Really ! isn't it something like swallowing a 
camel?" asked Chorley. 

" I don't care about camels, but I think you are an 
ass. I know I was one to take your part when Purefoy 
told me what sort of fellow you were," replied Butler 
Burke. 

" I am sure I am very much obliged to you for 
your knight-errantry," laughed Chorley. 

"And I thought of throwing over a fellow I have 
known ever so long for " 

" It was really very good of you to take my part/' 
interrupted Chorlcy; "but I will let Purefoy know 
that I am quite capable of doing that myself, and if I 
were not, I should not come to you." 

" I dare say you think yourself very clever, Chorley ; 
but if I cannot talk as well as you can, I can do some-, 
thing else ; and although you are bigger than me, I 
am not afraid to mill you." 

" Don't be in a hurry," said Chorley ; " you might 
be sorry for it afterwards ; but the whole row is so 
like a nursery story, that I can hardly help laughing. 
Had not you better write home and make your people 
the recipients of the pretty tale? How the saint 
abused the naughty boy, and how predictions were 
made about prodigal sous, and husks, and swine ; and 
how the milk-and-water fool who had not courage to be 
either one thing or the other, at last threw his power- 



71 

ful weight into the balance, and made the naughty 
boy kick the beam. Don't you think it would be 
highly interesting to one's pious maternity ? The 
story would easily fill up four sides of cream-laid 
paper, or, if judiciously spun out, who knows that 
foolscap (just the sort of thing for you) might not 
receive the maternal tears shed for filial degeneracy ?" 

Butler Burke felt his accomplished friend's sarcasm 
acutely, and it made him so angry that he could not 
help retaliating as well as he could, even with the 
prospect of a fight before him which would be rather 
a serious affair, and one in which the chances were 
he would sustain a defeat. But although he had a 
thrashing before his eyes, he replied, 

" If you think you arc going to put off the mill 
we must have now by this sort of rot, you are slightly 
mistaken; and I tell you plainly, if you are not iu 
Sixpenny after twelve, I will do my best to give you 
a hiding wherever I meet you." 

" Put it conversely," cried Chorley, who had quite 
lost the placid smile he had formerly assumed. 

" In the meantime, perhaps you will have the kind- 
ness to bunk out of my room," exclaimed Butler Burke. 

" You don't suppose you are interesting enough to 
detain me ?" replied Chorley. 

" Will you hook it ?" shouted Burke, in an uncon- 
trollable passion. 



72 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

' ( Because if you do," said Cliorley, without notic- 
ing Burke's exclamation, " you ai % e a greater fool than 
I always took you to be." 

Chorley accompanied this with a short, dry laugh, 
which did not find an echo in Butler Burke's part of 
the room. 

Putting his hands in his pockets, and whistling 
" Paddy will you now ?" Chorley lounged into the 
passage, and meeting some one he knew, together 
they sauntered into the school-yard, and finding some 
little fellows playing at fives, they, with a few kicks, 
took the wall, and played till school. 

This was a very unpleasant adventure for Butler 
Burke ; but he felt that he was doing right. When 
it came to a question as to whether he should give up 
his cousin or Chorley, his better nature came to the 
rescue, and he almost instantly, as we have seen, de- 
termined to stand by Purefoy. He knew that Purefoy 
was his friend, because on many occasions he had 
proved his friendship, but Chorley he saw he could 
not depend upon. 

In addition to this, his good sense told him that 
Purefoy's accusations against Chorley were well 
founded, and he began to think that he had made 
an injudicious acquaintance. 

Butler Burke had thought a great deal of Chorley, 
and had liked to go about with him very much. He 



"DAGO.V FALLS DOWN." 73 

had undoubtedly learned something from Chorley, 
and could, amongst other things, play a passable game 
of billiards, for a boy of his age. Chorley could do 
almost everything, and Burke looked upon him as 
something admirable, if not unapproachable. He 
made an idol of him, but now his Dagon fell down, 
and he saw that it was not so perfect either in con- 
struction or material as he had fondly supposed. 



74 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE FIGHT IN SIXPENNY. 

SIXPENNY is a corner formed by an angle of the wall 
of the Playing Fields. Part of the wall towards the 
west is covered with ivy, but the other part Skirting 
the Slough Road is destitute of any parasitical gar- 
nishment, and stands plain and naked. Placed at an 
altitude of about seven feet is a white stone, which is 
said to commemorate the death of a young nobleman 
who came to an untimely end in single combat in 
Sixpenny. Whether this is a legend or not, I will not 
pretend to say, but candour compels me to confess 
that I have always regarded that white tablet as in- 
dicative rather of the fire-plug than of anything else. 

Sometimes Fifteen Arch Bridge is selected instead 
of Sixpenny, as less liable to hindrance, for, though 
fights are seldom interrupted by the masters, yet if 
one happens to be passing through the Playing Fields 
he cannot help interfering. 

Butler Burke had, after eleven o'clock school, gone 
straight to the Playing Fields, without returning to 



THE FIGHT IN SIXPENNY". 75 

his tutor's, and he had no doubt but that Chorley 
would not be long before he made his appearance. 
Burke had, during school, confided the fact of his 
being about to fight Chorley to the Earl of Horsham, 
who was next to him in the school-list, and with 
whom, consequently, he had an opportunity of convers- 
ing. Horsham was delighted at the idea of a fight, 
and readily consented to act as Butler Burke's 
second. 

Chorley did not feel quite certain whether Burke 
really me^ant to fight him or not. " He surely wont 
be such a fool," he thought; "because I am sure I 
could thrash him easily. But anyhow, I will walk to 
Sixpenny after twelve, and see if he is there." So 
little importance did Chorley attach to the affair, that 
he did not even mention it to any one, or ask any 
friend of his to back him up. 

The Earl of Horsham had told all the bo\ r s he met 
that " Butler Burke was going to mill Chorley/'' and 
in consequence there was a pretty good sprinkling of 
spectators. 

Burke and his party arrived on the ground firs*\ 
and every one talked about and canvassed the chance, 1 , 
in the coming combat. Chorley was bigger and older 
than Burke, and the odds were certainly in his favour. 
Those boys who made a point of betting upon every 
event, began to make up their books, and three-to-one 



76 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

in sixpences and shillings was freely laid against 
Burke. 

The great authority in the betting committee was 
a boy called Irving, who had obtained the nickname 
of Cutty Irving, it was popularly supposed because he 
had smoked a small black cutty pipe longer than a 
cutty was ever known to last before cutties being 
celebrated for breaking just as you get them nicely 
coloured, and begin to take a pride in them. 

Cutty Irving even went so far as to lay four-to-one 
on Chorlcy in shillings, which at the time was looked 
upon as something singularly rash and adventurous 
by the more timid of the speculators, to some of whom, 
four shillings in the middle of summer half was looked 
upon as a thing not to be lightly staked upon a doubt- 
ful issue. 

But Cutty Irving was considered as safe as the 
Bank of England. He never bet more than he could 
pay, and had never been known to make default when 
the settling day arrived. 

So, following living's example, many shillings were 
laid by Chorley's supporters upon the chance of his 
success. 

Butler Burke was stout and thick-set, with what 
is called a bull neck, and not so tall as his opponent 
by an inch or two. Chorley was older than Burke 
by more than a year, and had not the former been 



THE FIGHT IN SIXPENNY. 77 

dreadfully out of training, it would have been a more 
unequal match than it was at present. 

While awaiting Chorley's appearance, Horshani 
thought it advisable to give Butler Burke a few words 
of encouragement. 

" He is bigger than yon, but I think you can last 
longer/' he said. "You see he is in very bad training, 
and though he will most likely punish you a good deal, 
if you try and wear him, he will break down in time; 
he drinks and smokes too much to have much wind. 
Playing billiards at the Castle, drinking beer at the 
tap, and brandy at the X, and smoking half-a-dozen 
pipes a day, is not exactly the proper way to train for 
a mill." 

Butler Burke smiled at this, and promised to do 
his best. 

" Here he is ! Here's Chorley !" cried some one. 

Chorley slowly, with his hands in his pockets, strolled 
amongst the assembled throng. 

""What's the row?" he inquired, carelessly. 

" What's the row ?" exclaimed the Earl of Hors- 
ham. "That's a good joke coming from you. Why, 
we are waiting to see your mill with Butler Burke, 
and you have kept us waiting long enough as it 
is." 

" Think so ?" replied Chorley, drily. 

" Are you going to mill, or are you not ?" asked 



78 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Horsham. " Or will you take the licking Butler Burke 
is quite ready to give you ?" 

" I shall have no particular objection to the licking, 
always pi'ovided he can give it me. But if he is such 
an ass as to think so, the sooner I undeceive him the 
better." 

" All right. You had better strip, Burke/' said 
Horsham. 

" Well, as he has made up his mind to get a hid- 
ing, he must get it, that's all," exclaimed Chorlcy. 
" I say, who'll back me up ?" 

"I will, old boy; be delighted/' replied Cutty 
Irving. 

" Thanks, Cutty. Just lay hold of rny coat, will 
you ?" said Chorley. 

Irving assisted Chorley to divest himself of his coat 
and waistcoat, and stripping off his braces, he tied a 
handkerchief round his waist, and turning up his 
shirt-sleeves to the elbow, he was ready for the contest. 

Horsham performed the same offices of aflection for 
Butler Burke, and the combatants stepped into a ring 
formed for them by the fellows who were looking on. 
Chudleigh, who happened to be on the ground, kept 
the ring the proper size by means of a cricket-stump 
with which he drove the fellows back when they 
pressed forward too much. 

Chorley stepped up to Butler Burke, and the fight 



THE FIGHT IN SIXPENNY. 79 

began. Burke in vain tried to get within his 
adversary's guard, the greater length of his arms 
rendering it almost an impossibility ; and after making 
some furious lunges and receiving two or three slight 
blows, he reached forward, when Chorley, taking 
advantage of the opportunity, and standing well on 
his toes, hit him a blow on the mouth that made all 
his teeth rattle like castanets, and sent him rolling 
heavily on the grass. 

The Earl of Horsham called time, and Chorley, 
putting his hands in his pockets, sat down on the 
ground, and received the congratulations of his friends. 

" I knew he hadn't a chance/' exclaimed Cutty 
Irving. 

And this opinion was generally acquiesced in by 
those around. 

" Are you much hurt ?" asked Horsham, kindly. 

Butler Burke got up with the assistance of Hors- 
ham, and spitting out a mouthful of blood, said, in 
answer to his friend's inquiries, 

"All right. I am not a bit hurt only a little 
shaken." 

But he was trembling violently, and Horsham 
took out of his pocket a little gold vinaigrette. Opening 
this, he gave it to Burke, and told him to smell it. 

The pungency of the odour made him start a little 
at first, but in a few seconds he felt much refreshed 



80 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

by it, and became comparatively calm. The fig-lit now 
recommenced. 

This time Burke was more wary, and manoeuvred 
about a good deal, which distressed Chorley so much 
that his friends became alarmed, and shouted excitedly 
" to close and grass him." 

Feinting with his right, Chorley advanced and 
threw Burke almost to the wall, when seeing, as he 
thought, his guard relaxed, Burke sprang forward, 
and Chorley, choosing his opportunity, let out with 
his left, causing Burke to fall against the bricks. 

Horsham caught him in his arms as he was falling 
to the ground, and carrying him to the corner, laid him 
down and examined him. His face was covered with 
blood which flowed from his nostrils, and he gasped 
for breath as if some of the blood had gone down 
his throat and half clicked him. 

" Spit it out, old fellow r ," said Horsham, support- 
ing his head ; "you will soon be all right again, It 
will be our turn next time, you know." 

Chorley stood against the wall sucking his knuckles, 
as he had knocked the skin oft' them. 

Burke again had recourse to the vinaigrette, and in 
a short time recovered himself sufficiently to be able 
to meet his antagonist. 

When the boys entered the ring, the expression of 
Burke's face wns rather ferocious than otherwise, for 



THE FIGHT IN SIXPENNY. 81 

it had swollen a little here and there, and his lips 
were of the size of those of a native of Madagascar or 
Borneo. Horsh am had wiped the blood away as well 
as he could, but there were still a few stains here and 
there. 

Chorley, on the other hand, did not seem to have 
turned a hair. 

Cutty Irving offered as much as seven-to-one against 
Butler Burke, but this he only gave once; afterwards 
he took the precaution to take those odds five or six 
times by way of a hedge, in case anything should 
happen to Chorley. 

Chorley opened the ball by aiming a formidable 
blow at Butler Burke, who stepped back, allowing his 
opponent's fist to graze his cheek. Then, dashing for- 
ward before he could recover his guard, he struck 
Chorley full on the left eye. 

" Well played, by George I" exclaimed Horsham, 
whose spirits began to rise. 

Chorley shook his head and attempted a laugh, which 
did not last long, for Burke followed up his success by 
another blow, which took effect on Chorley 's nose. 

Cutty Irving, seeing the blood trickling down his 
face, called time. 

" That's your sort, my boy \" cried the Earl of 
Horsham, patting Burke on the back; "you have 
tapped Ids claret at last." 
6 



ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"I know what, though/' said Horsham to himself. 
" It will not be half a bad precaution to have a little 
brandy handy. There is nothing like being on the 
safe side, and I see plainly enough that Chorley has 
got lots of fight in him yet." 

"Walking to the edge of the ring, he beckoned to a 
little fellow standing at the extreme edge, who, in 
spite of violent efforts, could not succeed in getting 
through. 

" Let my minor pass, you fellows I" exclaimed 
Horsham. " Here, Chudleigh, just make room 
there." 

Chudleigh soon made the desired opening, and the 
Honourable Mr. Briscoe came up, panting and look- 
ing red from exertion. 

Horsham pulled a florin out of his pocket, and 
whispered to his brother, " Cut up to the Christopher, 
minor, as hard as you can go, and bring back some 
brandy in a bottle. I haven't my flask with me, 
and you wont have time to go to my dame's for it. 
Hard all, minor ; be as quick as you can." 

Taking the money, Briscoe started off at his best 
pace. 

When Cutty Irving perceived that Chorley was 
bleeding rather more than he liked, he called to a 
boy standing in the front rank of the ring, and 
said 



THE FIGHT IN SIXPENNY. 83 

" Pilkington, peg away to Fellows Pond, and fill 
your hat with water/' 

". I shan't," replied Pilkington ; " you can't fag." 

" If I can't fag you, you young fool, I can do some- 
thing else you will not like." 

" "What's the use?" said Pilkington; " my hat has 
got a ventilator." 

" That's a lie, you young brute. Now, off you go. 
Oh ! you wont, eh ? Very well !" cried Irving, and 
with a sudden movement he caught hold of Pilk- 
ington, and twisting one of his arms round, he hit 
him with his fist upon the muscular part several 
times. 

" Will you go now, eh ?" asked Irving. 

Pilkington promised compliance if Irving would 
leave off licking him, and set off at a run to the 
Pond, presently returning with his hat half full of 
water. 

Irving dipped his handkerchief in it, and carefully 
"bathed Chorley's eye and face, sending in his man as 
fresh as a lark. 

Butler Burke came forward, looking more confi- 
dent, with a half smile on his lips. 

For more than a minute, they walked round one 

another, occasionally lungeing scientifically, but doing 

no mischief. At last Butler Burke retreated, and 

drawing his opponent after him, suddenly dashed 

63 



84 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

forward, but miscalculating his distance, he only 
grazed Chorley's temple. 

Now was Chorley's time, and he did not fail to 
see it. Catching Burke before he could draw his 
foot back, he hit him hard on the forehead. Butler 
Burke staggered, and let fall his hands, and Chorley 
repeated the blow with greater force, which had the 
effect of sending him over as if he had been shot. 

Horsham ran forward and carried him to his old 
place, to the corner, while Chudleigh kept the ground 
as clear as he could, to let him have air. 

Cutty Irving came up and pryed into the corner, 
to see the effect of the damage. Burke was breathing 
heavily, and had not yet opened his lips. 

" I say, Horsham," exclaimed Chudleigh, " this is 
a regular slaughter ; hadn't you better let him take 
a licking. " 

tf He is only a little bit stunned," replied Horsham ; 
"he will be all right, presently. I have sent my 
minor for some brandy, and I expect him back eveiy 
minute." 

Cutty Irving went back to Chorley and said, "I think 
you have pretty wellfinished the mill; he wont do much 
after the knock-down blow you gave him just now." 

Chudleigh knelt down on the ground, and taking 
Butler Burke' s hand in his own, felt his pulse, and 
looked at his watch. 



THE FIGHT IN SIXPENNY. 85 

Getting up again, he appeared to be satisfied with 
the result of his examination, for he said to Irving, 
" I don't mind having a bet with you, Cutty. What 
odds will you give against Burke ?" 

" I will give you fifteen to two," he replied. 

" Very well ; will you make a note of it ? I have 
not got a book." 

Presently Briscoe returned with the brandy and 
gave it to Horsham, who poured a few drops in 
Burke' s mouth. The boy opened his eyes and 
sat up. 

" Give him some more," said Chudleigh. 

Horsham poured about a wine-glassful down his 
throat, and Burke seemed much refreshed by it. 

" Well done, old boy \" exclaimed Horsham. "How 
do you feel ? You will go in again, of course ?" 

Burke took the brandy-bottle in his hand, and 
drank a little more. 

' ' That's enough," said Horsham, taking it away. 

"I wont be licked while I can stand, I know 
that," said Burke, gallantly. When he got up, Chorley 
looked rather contemptuously at him. 

" Do you take a licking ?" asked Irving of 
Horsham. 

" Not yet, exactly. We mean to give you one/' 
was the reply. 

Chudleigh came up to Butler Burke, and whispered 



86 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

in his ear, " You will beat him yet, if you hit him 
in the wind." 

Burke nodded and faced his antagonist. Confident 
of an easy victory, Chorley sauntered up to Burke, 
and threw out his left in a careless manner, as if 
the event of the fight was a foregone conclusion. 
Burke stepped back, and warily beat the air for a 
little while, watching his opportunity. Then all at 
once he ran in, and made a feint at Chorley' s face, 
but dropping his fist, he caught him in the wind, 
receiving Chorley's blow on his right arm. 

" Well done \" shouted Horsham. "Hit him again/' 

Chorley doubled himself up and dropped. Irving 
called time. 

''Try that again/' said Horsham; "that is the 
way to punish him." 

" Give us some of your brandy/' said Irving, coming 
over to Horsham. 

" Thank you, we'd rather not," replied he. 

" What stingy beggars you are ! we only want a 
little." 

" 111 see you hanged first, and then I wont ; will 
that do for you?" cried Horsham, handing the bottle 
to Burke. 

" Here, Burke," he said ; " wash your mouth out. 
It must be as dry as a chip." 

Irving walked back, muttering something rather 



THE FIGHT IN SIXPENNY. 87 

uncomplimentary in its nature about Horsham, and 
sent up his man in not nearly such good condition as 
he should have been. 

"When they entered the ring, Burke pursued his 
old tactics, and by walking round and round, he 
visibly distressed Chorley, who made several attempts 
to get at him, each of which was foiled by Burke 3 s 
superior agility. At last Chorley's face was covered 
with perspiration, and he fought rather wildly. After 
making a lunge at Burke he received an unexpected 
check, for Burke stepped back, and throwing all his 
weight and strength into his left arm, he gathered 
himself up, and rushing in, hit Chorley well on the 
forehead, striking him in the stomach with his right. 
Chorley threw up his arms and gasped for breath, 
while Butler Burke, before he could recover himself, 
hit him a most tremendous blow on the left temple, 
and Chorley fell like an ox. 

Irving threw the rest of the water he had over 
Chorley, but without any effect. 

Horsham pulled out his watch and looked at the 
time ; five minutes elapsed, but Chorley remained iu 
a prostrate condition. Going over to Irving, Horsham 
asked, " Do you take a licking ?" 

" Yes/" he replied, sulkily, " I suppose we do/' 

" Hurrah \" cried Horsham, running back to Burke. 
" Hurrah ! you have licked, and it has been one of 



88 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

the best mills I ever saw in my life. Here, minor, 
give them the liquor." And he handed the bottle to 
Briseoe. 

Butler Burke, amidst the congratulations of every- 
body, took his friend's arm, and walked triumphantly 
to the pump in the cloisters, under which he put 
his head, while Horsham pumped. 

In a little while, Chorley, accompanied by Irving, 
performed the same operation. 

Burke and Horsham walked down to " tap" and 
got some beer after the ablution in the cloisters. 

Chorley returned crestfallen to his tutor's, to brood 
over the mutability of human affairs ; while Cutty 
Irving went up town to Kitty Frazer's, the tobacco- 
nist, to smoke a pipe, and chat about the fight. 



39 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE FOURTH OF JUNE. 

THE fourth of June is a great day at Eton. It has 
taken the place of the much revered and deeply 
lamented Montem, and is looked forward to by every 
one with great expectation. It is not exactly a " non 
dies/ 7 for there is morning chapel at eight o'clock, 
but after that, with the exception of speeches and 
absences, and another chapel in the afternoon, there is 
Nothing to prevent the boys from doing what they 
iike. Absences are, indeed, the great impediments to 
the real enjoyment of a holiday. A holiday at Eton 
is a peculiar institution. Let us 'take an ordinary 
saint's day ; for all saints' days are holidays. Butler 
Burke gets up, as usual, at seven, and goes to the 
mathematical school, where he must be at half-past. 
There he remains an hour. At nine o'clock there is 
absence in the school yard. That is, every boy 
answers to his name ; arid a very pretty sight it is to 
see the fifth and sixth forms standing in a semicircle, 
stretching from the Fives wall, upon which the head 



90 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

master stands, half across the school yard. As each 
boy's name is called he lifts his hat, and says " Here, 
sir," and walks quietly away. At eleven o'clock there 
is chapel, and, of course, the Litany is read. At about 
ten minutes to twelve, as there is no sermon, Burke 
is released, and may do what he likes till two, when 
there is another absence, and after that, dinner. At 
three, chapel again, which is over about twenty 
minutes or a quarter to four ; and from this time to 
six, when there is a third absence, is the pleasantest 
time. You can now run over to the Bells of Ouseley, 
or to Salt Hill, or pull up to Surly, and smoke your 
pipe quietly in one of the arbours. After six there 
is tea, and in summer half, lock up at a quarter to 
nine, and absence in houses. 

It was the fourth of June, and Butler Burke and 
Chorley were walking arm-in-arm from their tutor's 
towards the wall, where Spankey was standing with a 
basket of nicely arranged bunches of roses and scarlet 
geraniums. Both the boys purchased some flowers, 
and Spankey fastened them carefully in their coats 
with a pin. 

It may be wondered how Chorley and Burke 
became friends again after knocking one another 
7bout as they did in Sixpenny ; but Chorley had 
taken the initiative, and, much to Purefoy's annoy- 
ance, they were reconciled. 



THE FOURTH OF JUNE. 91 

After three o'clock school on the day of the fight, 
Chorley followed Butler Burke to his room, and 
exclaimed, with a slightly mortified smile 

" I suppose you will not give me a licking if I come 
into your room, Burke ?" 

"What bosh, old fellow; don't talk nonsense/' 
replied Butler Burke, taking Chorley's proffered 
hand. 

Burke was a generous, kind-hearted boy, and he was 
touched by his friend's submission ; and, as he had 
won the fight, he could afford to be magnanimous. 

Chorley shook Burke's hand with all the evidences 
of friendship, and said 

" Now our row is over I don't see why we should 
not be friends. One of us must have licked the other ; 
and I believe I fought pretty well, although I did 
get licked." 

" You milled splendidly, sir ; no fellow could have 
done it better," replied Burke. 

" Well, I don't know about that, exactly ; I think 
you did it better, or our relative positions would be 
reversed," said Chorley, smiling. 

" I am awfully sorry it ever came to that," replied 
Burke ; " but it was not exactly my fault. Anyhow 
it is all over now, and no one will be more delighted 
to make friends than I shall. But, I say, did my 
tutor say anything about your face ?" 



92 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"No," replied Chorley. 

" Ah ! your face is not so bad as mine/' 

" Did he ask you ?" 

" Yes, he did, after dinner to-day," said Burke. 

"And what did you tell him ?" 

11 1 said I fell over a bat in the Playing Fields, 
whenl was running after a ball," replied Butler Burke. 

After this Burke and Chorley went about together 
as they did formerly ; so there is nothing to marvel 
at in their being together on the morning of the 
fourth of June. They were going to absence. Being 
Lower boys, they went to the place where the master, 
who happened to be that week " in desk " was stand- 
ing. After absence, Chorley said 

" Don't go back to my tutor's ; come up to the 
Christopher, and have breakfast." 

" Yes, I have no objection ; I think I should like 
it ; it will be a change," replied Butler Burke. " But 
I haven't much tin." 

"That does not matter; I have," said Chorley, 
rather briefly, as if he did not wish to be asked any 
questions. 

"Have you? How much have you got?" asked 
Butler Burke. 

" About three or four pounds." 

" You didn't tell me about it," said Butler Burke. 
" Where did you get it ? Who pouched you ? " 



THE FOURTH OF JUNE. 93 

"I had it sent from home/' replied Chorley, 
shortly. 

" That is odd/' thought Butler Burke. " I never saw 
any registered letter for him ; and he has not had 
time to go up town to get a Post-office order cashed. 
I suppose he would have to go to Singleton's to get 
it, and he clearly could not have done it ; it is a sheer 
impossibility." 

But, as they talked about other things, the incident 
escaped his memory, and he was in excellent spirits 
as they passed under the stern-looking gateway of 
the Christopher. With a capital appetite, and a 
good breakfast in prospective, there was no substantial 
reason why he should not be elated. 

" I don't see the fun of tea and coffee/' said Chorley. 
" Let us have some French wine ; my pater very often 
drinks it for breakfast." 

Burke made no objection ; and after ordering the 
breakfast and a bottle of Chablis, they were shown 
into number nine, which was Chorley's favourite 
room. 

" Is the Prince coming to-day ?" inquired Butler 
Burke, as he helped himself to the wing of a chicken 
nicely cooked with mushrooms. 

" So I heard. The Queen, they say, is at Osborne, 
and can't come/' replied Chorley, unwrapping a cutlet 
from its " caisse." 



94 ETOX SCHOOL DAYS. 

After breakfast they went to the school yard to see 
the Prince walk from " Chamber/"' accompanied by 
the provost and head master, to upper school, where 
the speeches were to be delivered. Seats had been 
fitted up for gaily-dressed ladies, and the boys who were 
to speak had an audience they might well be proud of. 

Chorley got tired of speeches very quickly, and said 
to Burke, " Let's cut this, and go to Bird's-eye 
Bristol's ; I dare say we shall find some one there/' 

" Very well/' replied Burke, " I have no objection ; 
but I don't see how it is to be done. We are Lower 
boys, you know, and the sixth form prseposter will 
not let us out." 

"If he says anything to me I shall say I am in 
Lower Lower, and I should like to know how he is to 
tell the difference," said Chorley. 

" Well, I don't see how he can, exactly," replied 
Butler Burke. 

" You stick close to me, then," continued Chorley, 
' ' and say the same." 

Chorley's plan succeeded, and, effecting their escape, 
they walked arm-in-arm up to the Brocas, for Chorley 
was fond of " buckling-to," as he called walking 
arm-in-arrn. 

Bird's-eye Bristol was a dog-fancier ; his real name 
was Bristol, but he had been nicknamed Bird's-eye. 
He was about five feet nothing in height, thin and 



THE FOURTH OF JUNE. 95 

cadaverous-looking., and lie always wore a sycophantic 
leer on his countenance; he dressed -himself in a fur 
cap, a velvet coat, and cord breeches. Bird's-eye was 
in great request, and highly popular with those boys 
who thought it the thing to do to keep what the 
author of "Verdant Green" calls "a huz and buz/' 
Bird's-eye's patrons would come up to see their dogs, 
and sit in his cottage and smoke and drink beer, for 
they were "potent at potting/' Bird's-eye kept 
two small cads to look after his canine animals. 

These boys groaned under the appellation of " Her- 
ring," which was their unfortunate patronymic I say 
groaned advisedly, for their personal peculiarities, 
coupled with their family name, subjected them to 
perpetual ridicule. One had red hair, the other a 
corpulent figure. The former was denominated the 
Red Herring, the latter the Bloater. 

On their arrival, Chorley and Butler Burke found 
Cutty Irving blowing a cloud, and he greeted them 
with acclamation. 

" Gents, will yer please to lush ?" inquired Bird's- 
eye, with a suavity of manner peculiar to himself. 

" I think we will, please," said Chorley. " Send the 
Bloater for a pot of beer." 

The Bloater, who had been fighting mouth to 
mouth with a pup, picked himself up at hearing his 
name pronounced. He was not long kept in igno- 



96 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

ranee of his mission, for a half-crown, thrown by 
Chorley's skilful hand, rattled against his shins, and 
picking up the money with a short yelp of pain, he 
set off on his errand. 

" Jove \" cried Chorley, " I have left my pipe at my 
tutor's. Got any weeds, Bird's-eye ?" 

Bird's-eye produced some suspicious-looking cigars 
from under the bed, which stood in a corner of the 
room, and proffered them to Chorley, who upon see- 
ing them immediately demanded, "Are these the 
worst you have, you old cad?" 

" Them's the werry wust, sir, if I never spiks no 
more," replied Bird's-eye, grinning from ear to ear. 

Chorley took one and began to smoke. 

" Now, sir, you is burning incense to Bacchus," 
said Bird's-eye. 

"Who's he, Bird's-eye?" 

" The old party as lives by baccy, sir/' 

" You're classical, to-day, Bird's-eye/' 

" Oh ! I is, sir ; I is," replied the dog-fancier. 

Chorley's own classical attainments were nothing to 
boast of, but it is to be supposed he knew that Bacchus 
was the god of drunkards. 

" I am going to have some shandygaff," exclaimed 
Irving. " Here, Bed, you go and get some ginger- 
beer." 

Red rushed out of the door with the impetuosity of 



THE FOURTH OF JUNE. 97 

youth, and not looking before him, of necessity ran 
against the Bloater. 

" Hallo I" cried Chorley, " you careless little beggar; 
you have upset the malt. Come here \" 

" Wollop 'im ! It was Red as done it," snivelled the 
miserable Bloater. 

But the excuse availed him not. Chorley seized 
him, and delivered him to the tormentor. Bird's-eye 
administered a castigation, and then despatched him 
again. This time he returned with the beer in safety. 
After this, Chorley's terriers were brought in, and 
with some cleverness they worried a few rats which 
Bird's-eye provided. Butler Burke amused himself 
with a rough Skye he had lately purchased from 
Bird's-eye. He was teaching it to beg, and to carry 
a stick in its mouth, and to lie down and pretend he 
was dead. These were his three .tricks, and Burke 
gave him a lesson every time he came up to BirdV 
eye's. Chorley at length, in the hilarity of the 
moment, and the exultation of his spirits at his 
terriers having acquitted themselves so well, favoured 
the assembled company with a song. 

" Give me my pot and my pipe, 
And " 

But, quo musa tendis ? 

When they were tired of Bird's-eye's establishment, 
and the varied amusements it afforded, they walked 
7 



98 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

to the rafts, and going up the ladder at Goodman's, 
which led into the workshop, they watched a hoat 
which was in process of construction. Eventually 
wearying of this, they descended, and Chorley ordered 
his boat to be got out. Lying down on a horse-rug 
spread in the stern, he allowed Butler Burke to scull 
him lazily a little way up-stream, when, shooting up 
some dead water, they lay under the willow boughs, 
and pulling some books out of their pockets, began to 
read, in which position they indulged until the clock 
of St. George's warned them that it was time to go 
back to College to absence. 

In the evening, the boats as usual, went in proces- 
sion from the Brocas up to Surly, accompanied by the 
Leander's Eight. Butler Burke and Chorley walked 
down to the Brocas after tea, and having arrived there, 
wandered about arqongst the carriages until they saw 
one which would do for them. It had a capacious 
dickey, which was as yet untenanted ; into this they 
quickly climbed, and fastened the apron comfortably 
round them. When the boats started the carriages 
also started, and went up to Surly by land. 

They arrived there before the boats, and leaned over 
the hurdles near the Britannia table, for there were 
two fellows at their tutor's in that boat, and one, 
Paddy Lascelles, Chorley fagged for, so he knew that 
he would stand a good chance of getting some cham- 



THE FOURTH OF JUXE. 99 

pagne ; nor was he mistaken, for both Butler Burke 
and himself got two tumblers-full. Finding that no 
more was to be expected in that quarter, they went to 
some other acquaintances, where they were more for- 
tunate. 

Each boat on its arrival at Surly goes to its own 
particular table, where a capital supper is laid out for 
them, and having drunk their wine and demolished 
the viands, they set out on the homeward track, and 
row down to Windsor Bridge, when the fireworks 
begin. The boats are seven in number, the Monarch 
(ten oar), the Victory, the Prince of Wales, the Bri- 
tannia, the Dreadnought, the Thetis, the St. George, 
and, I believe, lately the Defiance has-been repainted 
and made to do duty on festive occasions. The boys 
who row in them are the best oars in the school, and 
are dressed in a very pretty costume, which is only 
worn on the 4th of June, Election Saturday, and check 
nights. 

When Chorley and Butler Burke reached their 
tutor's, they were not, strictly speaking, sober ; but 
the magisterial eyes are not over critical unless 
the case is very flagrant, and they escaped without 
any punishment other than a bad headache the next 
morning. 

As Burke was going to bed that night, Purefoy came 
into his room, and said, 

73 



100 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Did you take any money out of my bureau to-day, 
Butts?" 

" No, I did not," replied Burke, sleepily. "If I had 
I should have told you. Have you lost any ?" 

" Yes. I had some in my bureau last night, and I 
cannot find it now." 

" How much ?" asked Burke. 

" Between three and four pounds," replied Purefoy. 

" That's odd," said Butler Burke. " Well, good- 
night, old boy ; I'll talk to you in the morning. I feel 
so seedy now." And in a fjw minutes he was fast 
asleep. 



101 



CHAPTER IX. 

SWEEPSTAKES. 

A FEW days after the fourth of June, Mr. Wynn's 
Sweepstakes took place. All the fifth form and sixth 
form boys were strokes, and they drew for their bows 
amongst the Lower boys who had passed and could 
row. 

One morning Butler Burke was sitting in his room, 
looking over his Lempriere, for he had to do " proper 
names/'' when Ghudleigh looked in and said, " There 
is Chorley howling for you in an awful manner." 

" Well," said Burke, "if he wants me, he must come 
for me. I am very busy just now." 

Chudleigh disappeared, muttering, "Sorry I spoke." 
And directly afterwards the door opened again, and 
Chorley made his appearance. 

" You are my bow, Burke," he exclaimed. 

" How do you mean ?" said Butler Burke. 

" I mean in my tutor's Sweepstakes. I have djawn 
you. There were more bows than strokes, so they 
have made me a stroke, and I have drawn you." 



102 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Have you, though ?" said Burke, looking up. 

" I think we have a very good chance/' continued 
Choiiey. " But you must come down to the Brocas 
every day after twelve as soon as you can." 

" All right ; I'll come. Only don't badger me now ; 
I am doing ' proper names.' I say, who was Epami- 
nondas ?" 

" Some Spartan swell, I think; but I wont swear. 
Look him up," replied Chorley. 

The eventful day quickly arrived, and during tha 
interval, Butler Burke practised every day with Chor- 
ley. Every one acknowledged that they were a formid- 
able pair, and stood a good chance of coming in some- 
where. Chudleigh, who, it will be remembered, was 
not very well disposed towards Chorley, had declared 
that he would bump him. " I have no chance myself," 
he said, " and as I know that, with the bow I have 
drawn, winning is out of the question, I wont let 
Chorley win if I can help it." 

Two or three other boys expressed themselves in a 
similar manner; and it will be seen that Chorley 
would still have to encounter Charybdis, even if he 
were lucky enough to escape Scylla. 

Chorley selected the lightest and narrowest skiff ho 
could find at Goodman's, and both Butler Burke and 
himself made up their minds to do everything to win. 
The sweepstakes were to be rowed after ten; and 



SWEEPSTAKES. 103 

when the morning arrived, Chorley walked up town 
with his bow, on the way picking up his coxswain, 
Lord Fitzwinton, one of the smallest and best coaches 
in the school. At the raft, Chorley carefully inspected 
everything, and finding it all arranged to his satisfac- 
tion, he got in with his crew and pushed off into 
mid-stream, and then pulled gently up to the Clump. 

" Look here, you fellows I" he exclaimed to Fitz- 
winton and Butler Burke. " It will be our own fault 
if we don't win this race. We are as strong as any of 
them, and I want to win, to rile the fellows who are 
going to bump us. You must pull like a brick, Burke, 
and you, Fitz, must steer through them all." 

The boys promised compliance, and Chorley con- 
tinued " Directly you hear the gun fired. Burke, just 
back water a little." 

" Back water \" cried Butler Burke, astonished. 
" What is the good of that?" 

" Well, you will see. This is not the first sweep I 
have rowed for, and I flatter myself I know how to 
win one as well as any fellow at Eton or Westminster. 
I should have won last year if I had not broken my 
oar." 

" I wish you would explain a little, though," said 
Burke. 

" I'll bet you Fitzwinton will tell you I'm right," 
replied Chorley, smiling. "What do you say, Fitz?" 



104 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

"Yes, I quite agree with you," replied Fitzwinton. 
" You see," he added, te what Chorley means is this : 
the boats that go on will unavoidably foul one 
another." 

" They must do it can't help themselves/' put in 
Chorley. " We are in the third row, and if we can 
only keep clear, we shall be all right." 

" Fortunately," said Chorley, " I have drawn Eton, 
so that we can make a broad sweep when we pull on. 
At first all depends on you, Fitz, because you must 
steer as nicely as possible through the lot of boats you 
will meet with under Bridge." 

They now reached Brocas Clump, and proceeded to 
take their places in the third row. The boats were in 
position as they arrived, and the starters were regula- 
ting their respective distances. The captain of the 
boats and some swells were standing together on the 
bank. Buckingham Shellville, the captain, held a gun 
in his hand. He ran his .critical eye over the three 
rows of boats on the river. " Third row," he cried, 
"Eton, come up a little. Down, two, Windsor. That 
will do. Easy there !" Finding them all in proper 
position, he exclaimed " Make ready," and raised the 
gun to his shoulder. A puff of smoke, a report, and 
they were off. Uplifted oars cleaved the water, and 
splashing it far and wide scattered the spray in all 
directions. Three boats in the first row got off clear 



SWEEPSTAKES. 105 

and made way; two from the second also effected their 
escape ; the others were for the most part jammed to- 
gether in hopeless confusion, in little knots of four or 
five. In time oars began to float down stream, and 
there was one swamp. The first boats had turned 
the corner and were out of sight. Chorley, who was 
lying on his oars, smiled, for he saw Chudleigh was 
entangled, and making frantic efforts to get free. 
Butler Burke was painfully excited. " Confound it \" 
he said ; " why doesn't Chorley start ? Here we are 
losing the race I" Suddenly Chorley, who had been 
looking round, espied an unencumbered channel. 
"Now then," he said between his teeth, "now then. 
Row on all." A few vigorous strokes brought them 
under Bridge, above which several boats, which had 
not the remotest chance, were labouring their way up, 
and amongst them was Chudleigh, who had extricated 
himself and had passed the shed. Three boats were 
lying-to under the bank, and each darted forward 
when they saw Chorley: one took middle-stream, one 
stayed near the Windsor bank, while the last made for 
the Eton side. By this severance of their forces they 
defeated their object : for Chorley bent over his 
stretcher till his oar quivered in the water, and the 
little skiff flew along as if endowed with life, and fully 
capable of entering into the spirit of the race ; and as 
Lord Fitzwinton skilfully steered so as to avoid them, 



106 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

they passed with the greatest ease. The three boats 
pulled frantically after them, but after they had gone 
fifty yards or so, Chorley's superior strength showed 
them the folly of attempting to follow him, and so 
they pulled up some boards from the bottom of their 
boat, and sailed slowly with the stream back to Col- 
lege, with Chorley's sarcastic laugh ringing unplea- 
santly in their ears. 

When Chorley reached Clewer he saw seven boats 
before him, and at Lower Hope he overtook Chud- 
leigh, who did all he could to foul him, which at last 
he succeeded in doing; but as the bows of Chudleiglr's 
boat ran into his, Chorley shipped his oar and placed 
it against Chudlcigh's rowlock. By this means he 
pushed himself clear and recommenced the race. 
Chafing at the delay, Chudleigh tried to repeat his 
manoeuvres, but without success; the speed with which 
Chorley put his boat along rendered his efforts futile. 
A large number of boys were running along the bank, 
and they backed up Chudleigh furiously, for Chorley 
was not very popular, owing to his bullying propen- 
sities. 

" Foul that beast Chorley !" " Well pulled, Chad- 
leighl"" Now then, put her along \"" Foul Chor- 
ley"" Spurt her, Chudleigh !" " Well rowed, well 
rowed \" were some of the remarks that issued from 
those who were running round. 



SWEEPSTAKES. 107 

But Chorley soon distanced Chudleigh, who, with 
a peculiar jerk, contrived to break his rowlock. 

" By George, my rowlock's broken \" he exclaimed, 
with apparent surprise ; " what hard lines \" 

" We must drift back to the Brocas, I suppose/' 
said his bow, by no means sorry that the contest was 
over, for he was already knocked up. 

When Chorley passed Athens, there were three 
boats before him, one of which had nearly reached 
the rushes. 

" Well rowed, indeed, bow/' he said, giving a 
longer and steadier stroke. " Well rowed, indeed. Are 
you much blown ?" 

" No," replied Burke, " I have got second wind." 

"All right; row on, then. Pull well through the 
water and don't chop your stroke." 

When he reached the rushes, he met one boat 
coming down, and it was clear that the race would 
be between that one and his own. On arriving at 
the pole, he passed the third, and on descending 
the stream he had the satisfaction of perceiving the 
second a few yards before him. A little energetic pull- 
ing brought him alongside, and a spurt put water 
between them. Chorley's rowing that morning was 
a thing to admire ; his stroke was at once elegant 
and vigorous, and he rowed with immense power 
without seeming to labour at all. 



108 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"Who is that?" asked Buckingham Shellville 
of some one near him, as Chorley 's boat passed where 
he was standing at Lower Hope. 

No one knew. 

" Whoever he is, he is a splendid oar, and will be in 
the eight some day, if he stays," said Shellville. 

At the Clump, the first boat was only a few yards 
in advance, and Chorley hoped with a few more 
strokes to pass it. 

There was a good deal of excitement among the 
fellows on the bank, and they backed up the first boat 
rather loudly. 

"Put the spurt on, bow 1" said Chorley, in a tone 
of assurance. 

" Really I can't/' replied Butler Burke. " I feel so 
ill, I don't think I can pull another stroke." 

" Not pull another stroke ? Oh ! hang it !" cried 
Chorley; "you are not going to shut up?" 

" I am, indeed, I am afraid," replied Burke. " I 
can't help it." 

As he spoke, his voice was little above a whisper. 

" Don't shut up ; anything but that," said Chorley. 
" Just contrive to move your oar up and down a little 
in the water, till the giddiness goes away, and I will 
do the work. Steer against me, Fitz." 

Chorley prepared himself for an heroic effort. The 
men in the winning boat were pulling very languidly. 



SWEEPSTAKES. 109 

By making very great efforts, Choi-ley succeeded in 
coming up with the first boat as they passed Tolla- 
day's raft. Ever since Butler Burke shut up, his 
exertions had been very fine. 

" Now, Burke," said Chorley, " see what you can 
do." 

Butler Burke summoned all the energy he could 
to the rescue, and changed the feeble strokes he had 
been pulling ever since they passed the Clump, into 
something a little more vigorous. 

Chorley really worked like a bargee, and the veins 
on his forehead were swollen almost to bursting. The 
cries on the shore were deafening. As the boats 
passed Searles' they were bow and bow. Both Butler 
Burke and Chorley were very much exhausted, but 
the excitement of the moment* inspired them with 
new strength. The shadow cast by Windsor-bridge 
on the river enveloped them. Butler Burke threw all 
his strength into a final stroke, and fainted, falling 
down in the bottom of the boat. Chorley threw up 
his oar, and uttered an exclamation of despair. They 
had lost the race by little more than a yard, and the 
winning boat pulled down to the Cobbler and re- 
turned to the raft amidst tremendous cheers. And we 
must do the School the justice to say that when 
Chorley paddled back to Goodman's, he was also 
loudly cheered for the plucky way in which he had 
contested the best race of the half. 



Hi) 



CHAPTER X. 

GOLD AND SILVER. 

A FEW days after the 4-th of June, Purefoy and Butler 
Burke were, after twelve, returning from the New 
Fives Walls, where they had had an excellent game. 
The faces of both boys glowed from the effects of the 
healthy exercise they had been indulging in. They 
had been playing for about an hour and a half, and 
they were now returning to their tutor's to dinner. 
Instead of going round through Keat's-lane, they 
preferred taking the quicker way through the alleys 
which led to John Hawtrey's Field and Carter's- 
passage. It was much the pleasanter way to go, not 
only because it was the nearest, which is certainly an 
inducement after playing several games of fives, but 
because it was quiet and unfrequented. Purefoy liked 
solitude, and delighted in retired places, where he 
could either read or converse with a friend upon some 
topic in which both took an interest. 

" I must have my revenge to-morrow ; you won 
three games out of five !" exclaimed Butler Burke. 



GOLD AND SILVER. Ill 

" Whenever you like, old boy," replied Purefoy, 
who seemed pleased at his victory. 

" By the way, what do I owe you ? You paid for 
the fives-balls to-day ; and now I recollect, you did 
the same thing the last time we played together." 

" Did I ? Well, I had quite forgotten it. As far as 
I am concerned it does not matter a straw," replied 
Purefoy. 

"Oh yes, it does," said Butler Burke; "these 
things ought to be attended to. I hate a fellow who 
will sponge on somebody else who happens to be good- 
natured. For my part, I like to square accounts as 
soon as possible ; and then no mistake, or misunder- 
standing, or bad feeling can possibly arise." 

" All right. Then you shall pay the next time, and 
the next in succession to that. Will that please you ?" 
said Purefoy, smiling. 

The boys walked on a little way in silence, when 
Butler Burke suddenly exclaimed 

" I say, Purefoy, did you find the tin you lost ?" 

"What tin?" 

" Why, didn't you ?isk me, on the 4th, if I had gone 
to your bureau and helped myself, for you had lost a 
lot of money ?" replied Butler Burke. 

" Oh ! I know what you mean, now," said Purefoy. 
" But when you began to talk about tin with such 
impetuosity, I hardly knew what you meant." 



112 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Well, have you found it? That is what I want 
to know. Money cannot walk off" of its own accord. 
If it took itself off, why, you may safely swear some 
one gave it a helping hand." 

" I am sorry to say I have not found it/' replied 
Purefoy ; " nor have I seen any signs of it." 

" You are sure it was in your bureau ?" 

" Yes ; I am positive about that, or I should not 
say so. I had some money sent me the other day, 
and I went up town to pay Singleton something I 
owed him for books, and I paid Knox a bill after that. 
I think I had a little more than three pounds left ; 
this three pounds I put in my bureau." 

Where ?" asked Butler Burke. 

"In the central pigeon-hole, as well as I can re- 
member. It might have been in one of the side ones ; 
but I know I placed it in one of them/' 

"And when you came to look for it it was 
gone?" 

" Exactly," answered Purefoy, laconically, as if he 
were somewhat annoyed at the reminiscence of his 
loss. 

" It certainly is very strange/' said Butler Burke. 

" What annoys me is," said Purefoy, " that it is 
the middle of the half, and I don't like to write home 
for some more just now, and the money I have left is 
going rather quickly. I shall, I expect, have to make 



GOLD AND SILVER. 113 

you my banker, and draw upon you for the next week 
or two/' 

" You know you may do that. As long as I have 
a penny you may always have half of it." 

" You are very kind/' said Purefoy ; " but if a 
penny is the extent of your resources, \\liy, half that 
extravagant sum will hardly suffice for my pressing* 
necessities/'' 

"But about your tin?" exclaimed Butler Burke. 

"Well, what about it?" 

" Why, this. In the first place, you take 
it very easy; much more so than I should, I 
think." 

"What's the good of putting yourself out about 
it? I know it is annoying, because I am the inte- 
rested party, and who should know better than me ? 
But I cannot see the fun of grizzling and growling 
over it," answered Purefoy, looking his impetuous 
cousin steadily in the face. 

"Well, of course you will please yourself. It is 
nothing much to do with me," said Butler Burke. 
" But if it were my case, I must say I would do 
something about it." 

" What would you have me do ?" queried Purefoy. 

"Do you think the money vanished?" 

' ' No ; I don't think it vanished exactly, but it dis- 
appeared mysteriously." 

8 



1M ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"Do you think somebody bagged it?" asked Butler 
Burke. 

" If you will have it, I do/' replied Purefoy. 

" Whom do you suspect ?" said Burke, rather 
anxiously, looking at his cousin as if the affair began 
to interest him. 

" There I am at fault. I have no evidence to make 
me suspect anybody. I have only a general idea that 
some one took it." 

Butler Burke shook his head. This reply was 
vague enough indeed. He had thought that Purefoy 
had some circumstance fresh in his mind which 
tended to throw suspicion upon some individual in 
particular. 

" You must not say a word about this, Burke, to 
any fellow," said Purefoy. 

" Why not ?" demanded Burke, in astonishment. 

" Why, my dear fellow, don't you see that if it got 
about that I had lost some money, and that I thought 
somebody had bagged it, the whole house would be 
uncomfortable. The boys' maids would be angry and 
annoyed, because fellows would say directly that they 
have more facilities for getting at fellows' bureaus 
than anybody else." 

" Why didn't you lock your bureau," Burke re- 
marked. 

" Why don't I do lots of things? It is very easy 



GOLD AND SILVER. 115 

to talk about things after the event, and say all that 
about shutting the stable-door after the horse is 
stolen ; but I left my bureau open because I was in a 
hurry. It was past the hour, and I was afraid 
Masters would be out of chamber, and it would be 
'all up' before I could get into school. It was care- 
less on my part, I know, and you may say it served 
me right to lose the money/'' 

Purefoy finished this speech with a smile. 

" Not at all. I don't say it was your fault ; be- 
cause it is beastly if a fellow cannot leave his bureau 
unlocked ; and it is very dreadful to think that there 
should be a thief in the house." 

" So it is/' replied Purefoy. " It makes one look 
over the things in one's room and count them. One 
cannot feel safe. I declare I look at my watch with 
extra affection." 

" Oh, that's rot !" ejaculated Butler Burke. " No 
one would bag a fellow's watch." 

" Why not ? On the contrary, I think, if a man will 
take one thing, he will take another, and if three or 
four pounds vanish, why should not a watch find 
itself legs and toddle off also ?" 

"Well, I don't know, I am sure. I hope mine 
wont though," replied Burke, laughing, and taking 
aut the article in question, as if to assure himself of 
the fact of its being in its right place. 
82 



116 ETON SCHOOL DAYS, 

In another minute the boys arrived at their tutor's, 
and going upstairs, washed their hands, and presently, 
as the bell rang, came down to dinner. 

All dinner-time Burke was thinking about his 
conversation with Purefoy respecting the money he 
had lost. He considered it clear that some one had 
taken it. Purefoy was not the sort of fellow to have 
spent it and then to have forgotten all about it, for 
ne was always clear-headed and straightforward. 
This being the case, it followed that there must be 
a delinquent, and in the house too. Butler Burke 
knew that he would not have done such a thing for 
worlds, and at first he had some difficulty to convince 
himself that any other boy was depraved enough to 
do so. But at last he could arrive at no other con- 
clusion. He had heard of such things happening at 
other houses, and he knew that fellows had been sent 
away for it ; but as yet it had never taken place in 
his tutor's. It was looked upon as an offence of 
singular enormity, and the house in which it hap- 
pened was considered .disgraced by it ; so much so, 
that it was generally tried to hush it up and prevent 
the scandal from getting about. 

What Purefoy had said, too, about not mentioning 
it to any one else, seemed to him, since his cousin 
had explained his meaning, extremely proper ; because 
all the boys in the house would feel slighted and 



GOLD AND SILVER. 117 

insulted by a general suspicion which could point to 
no particular person. Therefore he resolved to com- 
ply with his cousin's request, and say nothing about 
it. He felt, though, that he would like above all 
things to find out the culprit; but, at present, he 
was like a blind man looking for a needle in a bundle 
of hay. " After all/' he said to himself, " it is no 
business of mine, except in this way : I am so great a 
friend of Purefoy's, and so much in his room, that the 
fellows would, perhaps, say it was me." 

This was not improbable, and Butler Burke acted 
veiy wisely in not mentioning it to anybody. 

But a circumstance happened which placed all his 
care and prudence out of court. After dinner he went 
into his cousin's room to get a book he wanted. 
When Purefoy saw him enter, he exclaimed, 

( ' You have not said anything to any one about that 
money I lost ? Perhaps I may be mistaken after all.'" 

Before Burke could reply to this question, a voice 
behind him said, 

" What money have you lost, Purefoy ?" 

Turning round, he perceived Chudleigh, who, in 
coming along the passage, had just looked in. 

" Oh ! nothing/' replied Purefoy. " I did not know 
you were there/' 

" There is no particular harm if I am, I suppose?" 
said Chudleigh. " I can easily go if I am not wanted/' 



118 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Nobody wants you to go/' said Purefoy, hoping 
that Chudleigh would not press his question. But iu 
this he was mistaken; for, almost directly, he con- 
tinued 

" But what about this money ?" 

"What money ?" 

"Why, the money you were talking about when I 
came in. Did not you say you had lost some?" 

The question was so point blank that there was no 
possibility of avoiding it. 

"Well, suppose Purefoy did say so," interposed 
Butler Burke. " I don't see that it is anything to 
do with you, or anybody else/' 

" Oh, indeed ! That's your opinion, is it ?" replied 
Chudleigb. "As it happens, I was not talking to you." 

Butler Burke made no reply. 

Turning to Purefoy, he said, " If there is any 
mystery about it, I am sure I don't want to know ; 
only hearing you say that you had lost some money, 
I naturally asked you about it." 

Burke took the bogk he came into Purefoy's room 
to get, and, without making any further remark, he 
went back to his own room, thinking how unfortunate 
it was that Chudleigh should have looked in at so 
inopportune a moment. 

Soon after, Chudleigh made an apologetic remark 
for going into Purefoy's room, and walking along the 



GOLD AND SILVEH. 119 

passage, as he had nothing particular to do, he 
dropped in upon Chorley. 

Chorley was sitting in his arm-chair, with a Gradus 
I y his side, making some Latin verses. 

" Have you got an old copy of ' Hero and 
Lcander?'" he asked. 

" Yes, I think I have/' replied Chudleigh. 

" I wish you would lend it me" 

" All right j you shall have it. I will look it out 
after four. It is about time to go into school now. 
Will you come with me ?" 

Chorley put on his hat, and took his books, which 
he put under his arm, and Chudleigh having done 
the same, they left the house together. 

" Butler Barkers a great friend of yours, isn't he?" 
said Chudleigh. 

"Yes; we pull together very well. Why ? what's 
the row with him ?" 

" Oh ! nothing particular. But have you heard 
anything about Purefoy losing some money ?" 

When Chorley heard this apparently simple ques- 
tion, he dropped the books he had in his hand. 
Chudleigh hardly noticed the circumstance at the 
time, but he remembered it well afterwards. 

" No, I have not/' replied Chorley ; " have you ?" 

" Well, I will tell you what I heard. I came into 
Purefoy's room just now not for anything in parti- 



120 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

cular, but you know fellows often look in on one 
another when they are walking about the passage, 
and have nothing to do; and as I entered the room, 
I heard Pnrefoy ask Burke if he had told anybody 
about some money which had been lost." 

" Lost by Purefoy ?" said Chorley. 

" Yes, by Purefoy. Burke was going to answer; 
but before he could do so, I spoke, and asked what 
money it was, and all about it; but neither of them 
would say anything about it, and Butler Burke told 
me it was not my business. I know it doesn't concern 
me exactly ; but a thing of that sort concerns the 
whole house." 

" So it does," Choriey answered. 

" I thought it rather odd that Burke should try to 
shut me up so quickly. What do you think?" con- 
tinued Chudleigh. 

" I think so, too. It looks very seedy," said Chorley, 
his face lighting up as if he had unexpectedly found 
the way out of some dilemma. 

" I'll tell you what I thought," observed Chudleigh. 
"I thought that Butler Burke had been bagging 
Purefoy's tin, and they had settled it in some way 
between them; or else that Burke was trying to fix 
suspicion upon some one else." 

"Yes; that is more likely," responded Chorley, 
hastily. 



GOLD AXD SILVER. 121 

" So I think myself; and I am sorry for Burke if it 
is so. I always thought him a very nice fellow.'" 

Their conversation, was here interrupted by cries of 
" All up ! all up \" and the long gown of a master 
swept by, indicating that its possessor was going into 
school. It was a fourth -form master, and Chorley, 
being in his division, followed him up the staircase 
leading to Upper school, leaving Chudleigh, who 
was in a higher division. 

What Butler Burke had feared as likely to happen 
actually came to pass By a series of accidents it 
had been suggested that he was the actual taker of 
Purefoy's money. In a day or two the fact of Purefoy 
having sustained a loss got all over the house, and 
Butler Burke was regarded with considerable distrust 
and suspicion. It was strange that his friend Chorley 
should not have defended him ; but instead of doing 
so, he was one of the most eager of his accusers, though 
he acted in a quiet, underground sort of way. 



122 



CHAPTER XT. 

TURNING THE TABLES. 

So strongly did the tide set in against Butler Burke, 
that he found himself cut by every one who had for- 
merly been on friendly terms with. him. At first he 
could hardly believe it ; but when he encountered no- 
thing but averted looks and cold replies, he could not 
shut his eyes to the kind of feeling that was afloat 
respecting him. It was hard to bear. He was an 
honest, open-hearted boy, frank and straightforward in 
everything he did, and to be accused tacitly of a crime 
which everybody must shrink from was a great 
affliction. 

"I wish some one would openly say what they 
think. Just let them tell me to my face, and I should 
know what to do," said the poor fellow. 

But up to the present time no one had thought fit, 
or had dared, to say what was evidently in everybody's 
mind. 

Some, perhaps, did not like to say anything until 
they had absolute proof of his misdeeds. Others again 



TURNING THE TABLES. 123 

were afraid, because they knew that Butler Burke 
could, and would, fight very well. 

One day as he was coming upstairs he felt some one 
touch him behind. Putting his hand round, he felt 
the back of his coat, and found that the boy who had 
touched him, whoever he was, had put a piece of paper 
under the collar of his coat. Taking it to the light, 
he looked and perceived that there was something 
written on it. 

When he saw what that was, he turned scarlet, and 
his face became as hot as fire. There was only one word 
written on the paper, but when he read that word 
he felt like the prisoner in France, who, condemned 
to travaux forcees at the galleys, bares his shoulder 
in order that the indelible badge of disgrace the 
everlasting fleur-de-lis may be branded upon it. 
That word was " Thief!" Yes ; some one had gone so 
far as to affix that epithet to him, and he, not know- 
ing who the offender was, was powerless to resent the 
insult. Crushing the paper in his hand, he sought 
Purefoy. He was not in his room. Sitting down on 
a chair, he awaited his return. The door was partially 
open, and any one passing through the passage could 
see him. Some one passing by did see him, and im- 
mediately exclaimed "I say, there's Butler Burke 
bagging some more money." 

"With a bound, Butler Burke sprang from his chair, 



124 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

and with rapid strides endeavoured to overtake the 
offender. This he succeeded in doing just as he reached 
the top of the stairs. He was a little fellow of the 
name of Abbott; he was the son of a peer, and pre- 
fixed Honourable to his name. Seizing him by the 
arm, Burke dragged him into the middle of the pas- 
snge, and, blind with fury and passion, began to thrash 
him, hitting him anywhere and everywhere. Abbot 
shouted for some assistance, and hearing the noise, 
several boys came out of their rooms ; among them 
were Lascelles and some other big fellows. 

" Let him go !" exclaimed some one ; " don't lick 
him like that."" 

"What's he done?" said another. 

" I saw him the beastly cad in Purefoy's room/' 
said Abbott between his sobs ; " and I said ' there's 
Burke bagging some more money."' 

" If he did say so you have no right to lick him for 
it/' said Lascelles, addressing Burke. " Let him go. 
Everybody knows what you are." 

Butler Burke, seeing that popular opinion was 
against him, gave Abbott a parting kick, and let him 
go. 

" You cowardly little thief !" exclaimed Lascelles, 
"I thought I told you not to lick him. Come here, 
and I'll see how you like it." 

Lascelles advanced a step and laid hold of Burke, 
upon whom he inflicted a very respectable hiding. 



TURNING THE TABLES. 125 

Burke in his turn could hardly restrain his tears, 
not so much at the pain of Lascelles' blows, but 
because he had openly been called a thief by a fellow 
older and bigger than himself, whom he could not be 
revenged upon. 

" Lick him, Lascelles !" cried the boys who were 
looking on. " Give it him. Let him have it \" 

"When Lascelles had thrashed him to his satisfaction, 
he let him go, and returned to his own room. Butler 
Burke slunk away to Purefoy's room again, but as lie 
went along the passage, a general hiss followed him, 
nnd cries of "Thief! thief !" resounded in his ears. 
And much to his mortification, Abbott's voice sounded 
louder than any one else's. 

He had not long been waiting for his cousin before 
he came in. Purefoy at once perceived that Butler 
Burke was much agitated, though he was at a loss to 
guess the cause. 

" What's the matter, eh?" he demanded. 

" Why/' said Burke, in a broken voice, " I can't 
stand it. I shall run away." 

" But what is it ? What have you been blubbering 
for?" 

"The fellows called me a thief, and they say I 
bagged your money, and Lascelles has just licked me 
because I pitched into Abbott for saying that I was in 
your room because I wanted to bag some more money; 



126 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

and some fellow wrote ' Thief on a bit of paper, and 
stuck the paper on the collar of my coat/' 

Butler Burke poured out his list of grievances in a 
breath, without giving Purefoy time to comment upon 
them. 

" It is too bad. Who could have started the re- 
port ? It must have been Chudleigh. Never mind, 
Butts, I know you are innocent. It will all come 
out by-and-bye." 

" But all the fellows have cut me. I have only 
you to speak to now. It is too much for any fellow 
to stand." 

Purefoy walked up and down the room as if much 
annoyed. 

" There is Chorley, too ; he hardly speaks to me/' 
said Butler Burke. 

" Well, that is no great loss, I should think/' 

" I don't know about that. It was only the other 
day we were so jolly together. On the fourth, we 
went up to the Christopher and had an awfully jolly 
breakfast together." 

" Who stood it ?" asked Purefoy, with evident in- 
terest. 

"Why, Chorley did; you know I had no tin/' 
replied Burke, testily. 

" That's very strange," said Purefoy, moodily. 

" Why is it strange ? Chorley had a lot of money 



TURNING THE TABLES. 127 

with him, and I don't see why he should not stand 
something when he has the tin ; I have often stood 
him breakfasts at the Castle, and cider-cups at Salt 
Hill; and you know every Sunday we have dined at 
the Castle, and for the last two dinners I paid, and 
they came together to about three pounds." 

" I will tell you why I think it strange. On the 
morning of the fourth, before breakfast, Chorley came 
to me and said he was hard up/' 

" Well/' said Burke. 

" And he asked me to lend him some silver, as ho 
wanted to go up to Surly. I lent him five shillings ; 
and I opened my bureau to get the money ; he was 
close to me. And now I remember I saw him looking 
over my shoulder. He could easily see that I had some 
money in the pigeon-hole/' 

" Well, what of it?" said Butler Burke, who did 
not seem to see what his cousin was driving at. 

" If you will wait a bit, and not be so impatient, I 
will tell you. Just as I gave Chorley the five bob, 
the bell rang for prayers, and I went down, leaving 
my keys in my bureau. Now do you see ?" 

"Yes; now I begin to see what you mean, I 
think." 

"Very well; then I will tell you something else. 
I remarked that Chorley, who sits exactly opposite 
me generally at prayers, was not there that morning; 



128 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

and this fact is fresh in my memory, because my 
tutor nailed his shirking prayers, and said to some 
one, l Tell Chorley to come here ;' and when he came 
down he got a poena, because I met him in the pas- 
sage afterwards with an old fifty lines in his hand. 
You know he always keeps a lot of lines on hand, 
because he finds them useful. He does them when 
he has nothing to do : but when he wants to go any- 
where, and he gets a pcena, he can take some old 
lines and show them up. Who's to tell the differ- 
ence?" 

" You mean to say, then " began Butler Burke, 
when his cousin interrupted him, saying, 

" I mean to say nothing; draw your own conclu- 
sions. Shall I state the case to you?" 

Yes, do." 

" All right. Well, to begin. Chorley, at half-past 
eight on the fourth of June, is without a rap at least 
we may presume so. he was not, why should he 
borrow five shillings ? He does not go down to 
prayers. The passages arc empty. The rooms are 
empty ; the boys' maid, perhaps, has gone down to 
the kitchen to get some bread and butter. My keys 
are in my bureau. After prayers, Chorley goes up 
town with you ; he receives no letter ; he changes no 
Post-office order. He has two or three pounds in his 
pocket, and stands an expensive breakfast. Well, 
what do you think of it ?" 



TURNING THE TABLES. 129 

" Hurrah ! Purefoy, you've hit it, I am sure/'' cried 
Butler Burke, his eyes sparkling once more. " What 
a clever fellow you are I" 

" Not at all," replied Purefoy ; " any one could 
have put those simple facts together. You must 
rememher, too, how Chorley behaved to you about 
those pheasants' eggs he only gave himself up when 
he couldn't help it ; and as this is a much more serious 
affair, I don't suppose he will give himself up at all." 

" And if I were to say that he stole the money. I 
suppose he would deny it," said Butler Burke. 

"Of course he would. No, that is not the way to 
do it. You know that it is horrible that you should 
be bullied and persecuted for another boy's offence." 

" Don't talk about it. I have had enough of it, I 
can tell you ; and if it went on to the end of the half, 
I think I should go pretty well mad," said Butler 
Burke, with a shudder at the bare idea. 

" What I think, then, is, that we ought to tell my 
tutor. Chorley, you see, has no mercy upon you, and 
why should you have any upon him ? For my part, 
I think he will richly deserve all that he gets." 

" I think so, too/' replied Butler Burke. " I think 
it is beastly of him to let another fellow get blamed 
for what he knows very well he has done himself. 
And now I think of it, Chorley did not like my ques- 
tioning him about his tin." 
9 



130 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

" Oh, he did not, eh ? What did you say ?" 

" I was, of course, surprised to see him so flush, 
and I asked him where he got the tin from, and I 
think he said he had been pouched that morning.''' 

" Yes ; that is just what he would say ; but we 
have proved that he could not have been pouched. 
Now, what do you say; have you any objection to 
my telling my tutor all about it? I shall tell him 
everything from beginning to end, and tell him my 
chain of evidence against Chorley." 

" Very well," replied Butler Burke. " I really am 
not selfish, but I do not see why I should suffer to 
screen another fellow who does not care a straw for 
me. You may do what you like, and say what you 
like; I am sure you have my full permission/' 

Purefoy gob up, and said, " I am going now. If I 
can find my tutor, I shall be with him, I dare say, 
half an hour. Will you wait till I come back? If 
you go out into the passage you will very likely only 
get bullied." 

Burke said he would do as Purefoy proposed ; and 
going to the window, he looked out. The Honourable 
Mr. Abbott was standing in the yard, and looking 
up he happened to perceive Barke. No sooner had 
he done so than he seized a, stone and threw it up at 
the window. Butler Burke withdrew his face only 
just in time, for the missile crashed through the 



TURNING THE TABLES. 131 

glass within an inch of his head, falling with some 
force against the opposite wall. " Fll give it you, my 
boy/' muttered Burke, " when I get hold of you \" 

Sitting down, he impatiently waited his cousin's 
return. 

" What should 1 do without Purefoy ?" he thought. 



132 



CHAPTER XII. 

"ONE OP MY HEROES." 

PUREFOY found Mr. "Wynne disengaged, which was 
rather a wonder, as the life of an Eton master is any- 
thing but a sinecure. "What with morning school, 
prayers, "breakfast, construing after ten, school at 
eleven, pupil-room and looking over Themes and Verses 
after twelve, dinner at two, school at three, pupil-room 
very likely after four, school at five, tea, and perhaps 
pupil-room after six, supper at nine, and prayers at 
half-past, it can easily be seen that a mastership at 
Eton is anything but a sinecure. Mr. Wynne hap- 
pened to be in his study. Purefoy knocked, and he 
entered when he was told to come in. 

" Oh ! it is you, Purefoy/' said Mr. Wynne, with 
a smile ; " what can I do for you ? M 

" Are you very much engaged now, sir ?" Purefoy 
asked. 

" No, not particularly. To tell you the truth, I am 
going out into the garden to feed my pheasants ; you 
know I take a great interest in them." 



133 

" It is a nice amusement, sir/' replied Purefoy. " I 
liave some rabbits at home that I make great pets of, 
and you would hardly think what an interest I take 
in letters from home describing their sanitary condi- 
tion and maternal prospects/'' 

Mr. Wynne laughed at this, and asked what he 
did with the superfluous members of the family; 
Purefoy replied that sometimes they were killed and 
eaten, and now and then, when a market offered, his 
father's groom had full and ample authority to sell 
them to the highest bidder, which authority, as he 
was paid a handsome commission for doing so, he 
seldom omitted to exercise. 

" Butler Burke, sir, used to be rather fond of phea- 
sants' eggs/' said Purefoy, with a half smile. 

" Yes, I remember ; I am afraid I did him great 
injustice at the time; but it was a great deal his own 
fault. If he had only told me the facts at once, I 
should have known what to do directly ; but he con- 
cealed all the main features of the case from me, and 
when I cross-questioned him, he sillily refused to 
answer. So when I saw him actually boiling one of 
my own eggs, what could I do ? the circumstantial 
evidence was so strong." 

" So it was, sir," replied Purefoy. 

" But you said you wanted to see me about some- 
thing/' said Mr. Wynne. 



184 ETON SCBOOL DAYS. 

Purefoy replied in the affirmative, and his tutor 
asked him to come into the garden. He gladly ac- 
cepted the invitation, and followed Mr. Wynne into 
the drawing-room, and from there they went into the 
garden. 

"A very unpleasant affair, sir, has happened in 
the house/' Purefoy began, " and I do not know how 
to rectify a great mistake which has arisen without 
your intervention. As happened once before, Butler 
Burke is being blamed for a fault which another has 
committed, and it is strange enough that we are 
satisfied that other one is Chorley. The facts, sir, 
are briefly these : I had some money sent me which 
was safe in my bureau on the morning of the fourth 
of June, .when I went down to prayers. Some one 
took that money, and suspicion has fallen upon my 
cousin. This afternoon some fellows openly called 
him a thief, and he came to me. I thought the 
matter over, and came to the conclusion that Chorley 
was the thief, and that Butler Burke has been most 
unjustly accused." 

" By all means let me hear the evidence you have 
to adduce. This is a much more serious matter than I 
at first imagined/' said Mr. Wynne. 

Purefoy then carefully recapitulated his chain of 
evidence, giving Mr. Wynne link after link with 
great minuteness, not omitting the most trivial 



" ONE OF MY HEROES." 135 

circumstance. In point of fact, he stated his cousin's 
case with the ability of a Nisi Prius lawyer addressing 
a jury, and it was plain that what he brought for- 
ward had its weight with his tutor. When he had 
done, Mr. "Wynne said, 

" You have stated everything so lucidly, that I 
cannot help being of your way of thinking. Butler 
Burke, it seems to me, is labouring under a most un- 
just and unfair imputation ; and I must confess I 
had a better opinion of Chorley up to the present 
time. You remember, I dare say, Purefoy, that in that 
pheasant business he came to me and gave himself up, 
and I was rather pleased with him for doing so." 

" Well, sir, how do you think we shall be able to 
establish Burke's innocence?" asked Purefoy. 

"Ah, that is the question. I am a little puzzled. 
I have not the slightest moral doubt of Choi-ley's 
guilt. But if he persists in denying it, I really think 
we shall have some difficulty about the matter. But 
you must leave it to me. I will write to his mother 
to-night. Poor thing ! she will be terribly annoyed; 
for, of course, he must leave my house. I could not 
have him here after this. Did I tell you that his 
only near relations are his mother and his sister, who 
are passionately fond of him ? His sister is quite a 
child about fifteen, I should think ; but she thinks 
her brother is everything that is fine, and noble, and 



136 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

good. I am very sorry this has occurred very sorry 
indeed, for their sakes. If suspicion had not fallen 
upon your unfortunate cousin, Butler Burke, I think 
we could have hushed the matter up, for I am con- 
vinced that you have no personal feeling in the matter. 

" Oh dear, no, sir ; none whatever. I only wish 
the commonest justice should be done towards my 
cousin ; because, to be called a thief is, to my mind, 
and to his also, the most horrible chaff one could have 
to put up with." 

" You must tell your cousin that I see nothing for 
it for the present that is, for a day or t\vo but to 
put up with the very great unpleasantness of his 
position ; but he will be fortified with the conscious- 
ness that his innocence will sooner or later be pro- 
claimed, and then he will be more popular than ever. 
I will do all I can for him, and you may tell him he 
can rely upon me to vindicate him. I should advise 
you to keep all your facts about Charley to yourselves 
until you hear from me again ; in fact, let the matter 
remain in statu quo" 

Purcfoy promised compliance; and thanking Mr. 
Wynne for his kindness, rejoined Butler Burke, who 
eagerly accosted him as to the result of his interview 
with his tutor. He was considerably crestfallen when 
he heard what had taken place, for he thought that 
the proclamation of his innocence would immediately 



"ONE OF JIY HEROES." 187 

follow. Purefoy, however, assured him that the fact, 
of Mr. Wynne's believing their story at all was a great 
thing gained, and that it ought to be a great consola- 
tion to them to know that they had so powerful a coad- 
jutor at their back; and at last, after a little of Pure- 
foy's cogent reasoning, Butler Burke began to fall in 
with his views and to adopt his way of thinking, 
although it was undoubtedly a great hardship to go 
about as a suspected thief. He knew that he should 
get a great deal of bullying and unmerited contumely. 
His back and his arms were still quite sore from the 
thrashing Lascelles had given him. But his mind was 
considerably lightened by the reflection that his tutor 
believed in his innocence, and he felt that he could 
bear his cross with more courage and fortitude than he 
could have done had he had to class Mr. Wynne 
amongst his enemies and detractors. 

The next day Mrs. Chorley, accompanied by her 
daughter Constance, arrived at Windsor, and drove 
immediately to Eton. Mr. Wynne received them very 
kindly, and thanked them for so soon answering his 
letter in person. After the usual compliments had 
passed between them, Mrs. Chorley said 

" You did not explain in your letter why you wanted 
me to come to you at so short a notice. You merely 
said that you had some grave news to tell me about 
my boy. Will you at once relieve my anxiety, and tell 



138 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

me the nature of the communication you are going to 
make ? I trust he is not ill." 

" Oh, no ; he is in perfect health. It is about a to- 
tally different matter that I am going to talk to you." 

Mrs. Chorley fidgeted about in her chair, as if 
annoyed and anxious. 

" You may as well have the plain truth sooner or 
later, without any circumlocution/'' said Mr. Wynne, 
" and so I may tell you the whole affair, my dear Mrs. 
Chorley, in half-a-dozen words. Your boy has, I am 
sorry to say we have reason to believe, helped himself 
to another boy's money." 

Mr. Wynne had put it as delicately as he possibly 
could, but still the mother and sister knew perfectly 
well what he meant. Mrs. Chorley arose from her 
chair, and said with vehemence, 

" Do you mean to tell me that my boy is a thief, 
Mr. Wynne?" 

" Such is the melancholy fact," he replied, sadly, for 
he felt for the evident anguish of the proud old lady 
before him. 

"Oh! I will not cannot believe it," she cried, 
passionately. 

" Mr. Wynne said he ' had reason to believe/ 
mamma," exclaimed Constance, in a soft melodious 
voice, which trembled a little. "Perhaps, after all, they 
may be mistaken. It is so unlike Edmund, is it not ?" 



"OXE OF MY HEROES." 139 

Mrs. Chorley reseated herself, and said as calmly 
as she could, 

"Will you have the kindness to go over every- 
thing 1 , and let us know the history of the whola 
affair? I am quite strong enough to bear it, and I 
would rather hear it now from your own lips, and," 
she added, in a murmur, " as Conny says, they may be 
mistaken after all. God grant it ! oh, God grant it !" 

Mr. Wynne with great minuteness told them all, 
and his hearers listened patiently without once inter- 
rupting him. When he had finished, a great sigh 
escaped the unhappy mother, who said, 

" Your tale has more than probability in it I sent 
him no money; nor did his sister ; and I know of no 
one who could have done so. I am afraid that he is 
what the world will call him a thief. Oh, the 
dreadful word ! it will kill me, I am sure, to pronounce 
it again. Oh ! Mr. Wynne, Mr. Wynne, this is a 
great blow for me. I am not so young as I was once, 
and my whole mind is centred on that boy/' 

Mr. Wynne endeavoured to comfort her as well as 
he could; but she had too much sterling common 
sense to be misled by his kind but weak arguments. 
She knew that her darling boy had committed an 
offence that would cling to him as long as he lived 
that it would be a reproach to him till his dying 
day. 



14:0 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"What will his punishment be here I mean at 
the school ?" asked Mrs. Chorley. 

" If I complain of him to the head-master, as it is 
my duty to do, he will be flogged, and turned down 
into a lower division, and, at the end of the half, he 
will be obliged to leave the school," replied Mr. 
Wynne. 

" Is there no way of averting all this terrible dis- 
grace ? can we not avoid it somehow ? As yet, you 
say, only two boys and yourself are cognizant of the 
i'acts. Oh ! Mr. Wynne, anything I have in the 
wor ld 

" I should be only too glad to serve you in any 
way," he said, interrupting her ; " but the difficulty 
is this : Butler Burke, one of the finest boys in the 
school, is suspected, and openly taunted with the 
commission of your son's offence, and he has an impe- 
rative right to demand that the real offender shall be 
unmasked, in order that he may be openly and 
honestly acquitted. Boys are the most unfeeling 
creatures in existence ; and you do not know what a 
life they make any boy lead who transgresses any one 
of the laws that they consider it proper to observe." 

" If that boy only would " began Mrs. Chorley, 

but as the impracticability of the idea struck her, she 
broke off abruptly. 

" You were going to remark "said Mr. Wynne. 



ft ONE OF MY HEROES." 141 

" I was going to say, if that boy what is his 
name?" 

"Butler Burke do you mean ?" 

" Yes, Burke. If Burke would only consent to be 
suspected until the end of the half year, when 
Edmund could leave quietly, without all the disgrace 
and annoyance you have described to me !" 

" My dear madam," replied Mr. Wynne, very sternly, 
" if you were not agitated, you would not, I am sure, 
make such an unfair proposition. I should not feel 
myself justified in mentioning such a thing, either to 
Butler Burke, or his cousin I should not, indeed. 
What interest can either of them have in your son, 
who has wronged them both ?" 

Mrs. Chorley, as Mr. Wynne spoke, saw the selfish- 
ness of her proposal ; and she felt the force of his 
remarks, which were certainly unanswerable. The 
tears started to her eyes as she saw the hopelessness 
of their position. Constance was weeping bitterly, 
and she had hidden her face in her pocket-handker- 
chief. Mr. Wynne walked uneasily up and down the 
room. 

" I will tell you what I will do, Mrs. Chorley," lie 
said, at last. " I will send Butler Burke to you, and 
you may speak to him. I shall not influence him one 
way or the other." 

Mrs. Chorley looked her thanks, but she was too 



142 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

agitated to speak. Mr. Wynne knew he was not 
doing right; but he could not help feeling for the 
evident grief of the unhappy mother and sister. Mr. 
Wynne left the room. In a few minutes the door 
opened, and Butler Burke's round and jovial face 
peered in. He was ahout to withdraw when he saw 
two strange ladies, for he had merely been told that 
he was wanted in the drawing-room. 

" Come in, little boy !" exclaimed Mrs. Chorley. 

" Mamma, you must not call him little boy/' inter- 
posed Constance, reprovingly. " Don't you know 
Edmund told us that every one at Eton was called 
'mister/ So you must say Mr. Burke." 

Butler Burke smiled at this, bowed to the ladies, 
and walked into the room, wondering who they were, 
and what they could possibly want him for. 

" Pray sit down, Mr. Burke," said Mrs. Chorley. 

" Come on the sofa ; there is room here by me 1" 
exclaimed Constance, who had wiped away her tears. 

Butler Burke did as he was requested ; and as he 
looked at Constance Chorley, he thought he had never 
seen so lovely a little girl in his life. 

" Edmund Chorley is my son," said Mrs. Chorley, 
by way of explanation. 

Burke felt uncomfortable at this declaration. 

" Fancy old Chorley having such an awfully pretty- 
sister !" lie said to himself. 



143 

" Mr. Wynne has told me all about a certain affair 
in which you and your cousin, Mr. Purefoy, are inte- 
rested, and in which my naughty boy has lately borne 
a part/' continued the mother, her heart fluttering 
and beating violently. 

" Oh ! I know what you mean, Mrs. Chorley," 
replied Burke. " Pray do not say any more ; it must 
be very painful to you." 

" What I want to say is this. You know if poor 
Edmund is exposed, how severely he will be punished, 
and how he will be disgraced for ever." 

" I don't want to do him any harm, I am sure," 
said Butler Burke. 

" I know you do not I am confident of that. 
And it is that reflection principally which emboldens 
me to speak to you." 

" I only want to clear myself," replied Burke. " I 
have been bullied out of my life, I assure you, within 
the last day or two." 

" Well, do you know what I am going to ask you 
to do?" said Mrs. Chorley, her voice shaking very 
much. " I am going to ask you to bear it till the end 
of the half year." 

" What !" exclaimed Butler Burke, in astonish- 
ment. " Stand it till the end of the half, and be cut 
by every one except my tutor and Purefoy ? Oh ! I 
cannot indeed, I cannot 1" 



144 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" He is my only son, and I I love him so/' said 
Mrs. Chorley. She had just strength enough to 
complete this sentence, and then she broke down. 

It was a strange sight to see this handsome, proud 
old lady, pleading with the fair-haired boy by the 
side of her daughter. 

Mrs. Chorley's sobs were audible throughout the 
room. Butler Burke felt very uncomfortable ; he did 
not know what to do. He thought he had never 
been in so uncomfortable a position before. 

" I should be very glad to do what she asks me," 
he thought. " But hang it ! I can't ; it is not reason- 
able to ask a fellow to do such a thing." 

Suddenly he was aroused from the reverie into 
which he had fallen, by a tiny silvery voice by his 
side, which said, 

" I should be so much delighted if you would do 
as mamma asks you, Mr. Burke." 

" Would you ?" he said, rather clownishly. 

"Oh yes; because then my brother could leave 
quietly, and he would not be disgraced in the school, 
and go through all the dreadful punishments Mr. 
"Wynne was telling us about. The boys would not 
think the worse of you for it. At the end of the 
half-year Mr. Wynne would tell them all about it, 
and how grandly you behaved, because going through 
all that would be very grand. And I should quite 



"ONE OF MY HEROES/' 145 

love you for it. I would make you one of my heroes. 
I have several heroes Bayard, the French knight, 
without fear and without reproach, is one of 
my heroes ; and I would put you next to him in my 
mind." 

Butler Burke looked at the little fairy beside him, 
and felt his resolution waver. He thought he could 
go through everything to be " one of her heroes." 

" Will you ?" she asked. " Oh, will you do it ? 
Will you save poor dear, wicked Edmund ?" 

In her intense anxiety she took his hand in hers, 
and looked up eagerly in his frank, honest face. He 
returned her gaze, and their glances met. He could 
not withstand the earnest entreaty which was depicted 
upon that sweetly pretty, tear-stained countenance. 
So he replied in the affirmative. He said, " Yes." It. 
was only a little monosyllable, but it bound him to a 
great deed perhaps more than he thought of at that 
moment. 

Constance Chorley cast a look of intense gratitude 
upon him, and, springing up from the sofa, she ran 
over to where her mother was sitting. "Dear 
mamma," she cried, " he consents. He has promised 
he will do it. He will save Edmund." 

Mrs. Chorley looked up, hardly able to believe in 
such good fortune. "Have you, indeed ?'' she de- 
manded, looking at Butler Burke, 
10 



146 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Yes/' he replied ; " I have promised Miss Chor- 
ley, and I will keep my word/' 

" God bless you !" said the old lady, throwing her- 
self on Constance's breast, and sobbing hysterically. 

Butler Burke thought he might run away now; for 
he did not like to intrude upon the mother and 
daughter any longer. Casting his eyes down on the 
sofa, he saw a glove. It evidently belonged to Con- 
stance. He took it and put it in his pocket, and then 
quietly stole out of the room, without any one noticing 
it. He met his tutor in the passage. 

"Well, Burke?" said Mr. Wynne, inquiringly. 

" I have promised, sir," he replied. 

"You are a noble fellow, then," said his tutor, 
squeezing his hand warmly. But he said to himself, 
"Upon my word, I can hardly tell whether I am 
doing right or wrong." 

Burke went upstairs to Purefoy, to tell him all the 
strange events that had occurred. 



147 



CHAPTER XIII. 

CTNDER A CLOUD. 

BUTLER BURKE walked slowly along the passage after 
leaving his tutor. The magnitude of the sacrifice he 
was making flashed across his mind, and he almost 
regretted that he had promised so readily and so 
rashly. He had elected, of his own free will, to be 
considered unfit for the society of gentlemen. It is 
true that he knew himself to be innocent; and he 
was pleasantly conscious that Mr. Wynne, and Mrs. 
Chorley and her daughter, were also fully aware of 
the fact. "When he thought of Constance Chorley, 
he felt very determined and eager to go through with 
the task he had allowed others to impose upon him. 
No knight of old could have entertained a more 
chivalrous devotion for the "fair ladie" of his love 
than Butler Burke did for the beautiful girl who had 
only a few minutes before twisted him round her 
finger so consummately, not with diplomatic art and 
finesse, but with the convincing eagerness of a frank 
outspoken nature. 

103 



148 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Purefoy was not a little astonished at the recital of 
the strange scene which Butler Burke had just gone 
through, and at first he could not i-estrain his indig- 
nation. "It is too bad!" he exclaimed. "I don't 
like to see you made a fool of in this sort of way. I 
think Mrs. Chorley must be very selfish indeed to ask 
you to do such a thing ; and why my tutor should 
agree to so extraordinary a compact, I declare I cannot 
imagine. I should have thought that he would have 
been one of the first to discountenance it. He ought 
to see justice done you. I know well enough what 
a life you will lead till the end of the half. You 
will be very sick of it before long, and bitterly 
regret the silly promise you gave so foolishly just 
now." 

" Possibly I may," replied Burke, looking very dis- 
consolate and downcast ; " but I don't think you, as 
a religious man, or even a friend of mine, ought to 
talk to me like that, Purefoy." 

" If I have said anything unkind, or anything that 
has hurt your feelings, try to forget it," said Purefoy, 
calming down a little ; " but Chorley has shown him- 
self such a beast, that I don't think he deserves any 
mercy, and it riles me to see you sat upon/* 

" What you say is very true, but he has got such a 
jolly sister, and she talked so prettily to me, that I 
couldn't stand it. I promised whatever she liked to 



UNDER A CLOUD. 149 

ask me. I stood out against the old woman, but 
Constance licked me directly." 

Purefoy smiled at this, but it was a smile of dubious 
import, and Butler Burke continued : " The fact is, 
they are both awfully fond of Chorley, and they want 
him to leave quietly at the end of the half without 
any row ; because, if he was shown up now, he would 
be sent away, and as I have promised them not to say 
anything, you must oblige me, Purefoy, by agreeing 
to do the same thing." 

Purefoy grumbled a good deal at this ; but Butler 
Burke exclaimed, " Oh ! but you must. You cannot 
make me look a fool." 

"If I consent," said Purefoy, "I shall do so on 
compulsion. But, look here, suppose we go up town 
and have an ice or something, and talk on the way. 
"What do you say ? Will you come ?" 

" Yes ; I'll come. Wait a minute, while I go and 
get my hat/' rejoined Burke, who left the room 
quickly, without looking before him, the consequence 
of which was, that he ran full tilt up against some- 
body. 

"Why don't you look where you are going to?" 
cried Butler Burke, angrily. 

" Oh ! it is you, you young thief. You had better 
shut up, I should think," was the reply. 

Looking up, in the most utter astonishment, Butler 



150 ETON SCHOOL DAYS, 

Burke perceived that the speaker was Chorley the 
boy who had wronged him in every possible way. 
Was it possible that he could have the hardihood and 
the impudence to look -him in the face, and taunt him 
with a theft of his own committing ? Apparently, it 
was possible, because it had actually happened. Burke 
was completely overwhelmed. It was a little too 
much that th one for whom he was sacrificing so 
much should join the number of his enemies, and take 
a prominent part against him. Butler Burke was 
on the point of saying " Well, old fellow, you ought to 
be the last to reproach me, considering everything ;" 
but, although he was in a terrible passion, the image 
of Constance Chorley rose up between the object of 
his resentment and his just annoyance, and he bowed 
his head to the first blast of the fierce storm he had 
invoked. 

"If I were Purefoy," said Chorley, " I would 
kick you out of my room very quickly, I can tell 
you." 

After this heartlessly cruel speech, Chorley passed 
on. 

" Can he have forgotten that I licked him in our 
mill," thought Burke. "I can't understand this. 
Perhaps he thinks that as I am under a cloud, I am 
obliged to put up with his cheek ; and he may imagine 
that bv bullying me, and getting up a feeling in the 



UNDER A CLOUD. 151 

house against me, he will drive away suspicion from 
himself. That is it, most probably. But it is rather 
too hard to be chaffed by Chorley." 

He went to his room and got his hat, and rejoined 
his cousin. 

" I say, Purefoy/' he immediately exclaimed ; " what 
do you think happened a minute ago, just outside your 
room ? I ran up against Chorley, and he called me a 
thief, and said if he were in your place he would very 
quickly kick me out of his room. Did you ever hear 
such a thing in your life ?" 

" Ton my word," answered Purefoy, " that licks 
everything I ever heard. He must be a bad-hearted 
fellow. This shows him to be worse than I always 
took him to be, and you know that I never had a very 
good opinion of him. "Well, do you feel inclined to 
waver now about your promise ?" 

"I did just now; but when I thought of the 
beggar's sister, I made up my mind to keep my word 
and put up with it. I know it will be awfully beastly, 
but you'll see I'll do it." 

Purefoy and Butler Burke went up town to Knox's, 
where they got some ices. Purefoy, as may readily 
be imagined, was furiously indignant with Chorley, 
and very much regretted that Butler Burke could not 
at once vindicate his innocence, and be revenged upon 
so treacherous and perfidious a fellow. But all his 



152 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

arguments were of no avail with Burke, and at last he 
gave up endeavouring to persuade him. 

Burke explained, " That he did not care a straw for 
Chorley himself; but his people were so very much 
cut up; and that sister of his, Constance pretty 
name, isn't it, Constance? made such an impression 
on me, that I could not help myself." 

"Well, Chorley's a lucky fellow, that's all I can 
say," replied Purefoy, surlily. 

When Mr. Wynne rejoined Mrs. Chorley and her 
daughter in the drawing-room, it was arranged be- 
tween them, principally by Mr. Wynne's advice, that 
Chorley should not be told anything that had oc- 
curred just at present. 

" Leave him to his conscience," said Mr. Wynne. 
"As Butler Burke has consented to undergo mar- 
tyrdom for one who, I must say, is not worthy of 
his sympathy, why, the thing must take its course; 
although I must say that, to see the innocent suffer 
goes very much against the grain with me. However, 
the die is cast, and we must watch the course of 
events." 

Mrs. Chorley was profuse in her thanks to both 
Mr. Wynne and his generous pupil. She wished to 
see Burke again in order that she might thank him 
as he deserved to be thanked ; but Mr. Wynne ob- 
jected to such a procedure. 



UNDER A CLOUD. 153 

" It was a little rude of him, perhaps," said Mr. 
Wynne, " to run away as he did without wishing you 
good-bye, but it also showed great delicacy on his 
part. He saw how agitated you were, and he in- 
stantly withdrew in order that you might give way 
to your feelings without the restraint that a stranger's 
presence is sure to inspire. If you were to see him 
again now it would only cause him a great deal of 
embarrassment, for boys or men, who behave as he 
has behaved to-day, do not care much about thanks ; 
they are perfectly satisfied with the consciousness of 
having done as their better feelings have dictated." 

Mrs. Chorley and Constance took their leave of 
Mr. Wynne very sad and very grieved, and yet with 
their hearts considerably lightened by the reprieve 
their Edmund had obtained through the magnanimity 
of Butler Burke. 

Mr. Wynne could not help thinking that it was an 
honour to him to have two such boys as Burke and 
Purefoy in his house, and he determined that he 
would, by his behaviour, show Burke how highly he 
thought of him. Days flew by after these occurrences, 
and Burke found that he had by no means made a 
bed of roses for himself to lie upon. He was most 
distinctly under a cloud; for although no one had 
clearly proved him a thief, everybody thought him so. 
Some boys had gone so far as to urge Purefoy to tell 



154 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Mr. Wynne all the circumstances ; but this, as may 
he supposed, he steadily refused to do, averring that the 
real culprit would he found out some day. Then, the 
hoys went away, thinking that as Butler Burke was 
Purefoy's cousin, the latter wished to let him down 
easily, and, to use their own expression, " that they 
had squared it together somehow," and what is every- 
body's business is nobody's business ; so though all 
the house was more or less interested in the detection 
and punishment of the offender, yet as Purefoy re- 
fused to move in the matter, the house avenged itself 
upon Burke in every possible way, and his existence 
was not one of unmixed happiness. 

"When he took down his dictionary one day he found 
a leaf turned down and the word " Fur" thickly under- 
lined. He would find "Butler Burke is a thief," written 
in pencil on the walls ; and a thousand other petty an- 
noyances greeted him at every step. Even his letters 
were by some one indorsed with " thief and robber" 
before they came into his hands. He could not go out 
of his tutor's if there happened to be any one in the 
yard without some one throwing a stone at him, or 
hissing, or " shinning" him if he passed near enough. 
So things went on for several days, and Burke found 
his only consolation in Purefoy's society, which was 
of great advantage to him. He went not into the 
haunts of men as was his wont formerly, for if he 



UNDER A CLOUD. 155 

walked down to the Playing- Fields to have a game at 
cricket, he found no one who would play with him, 
and some one would be sure to " swipe" at him, and 
try and cut him over with the ball. If he went on 
the river, some one would splash him, and try to 
swamp his boat, so that it was much more comfort- 
able for him to see if he could not do a better copy of 
verses than usual, or a better Theme than ordinary. 
And in these laudable efforts he succeeded beyond his 
expectations. He was i: sent up for good" one week, 
and his Verses read before the whole division in which 
he was placed. One little circumstance occurred 
which was a pleasing oasis in his everlasting desert. 
He received a letter one morning which, to his sur- 
prise, was signed Constance Chorley. She began : 

" My dear Mr. Burke, I dare say you will be 
very very much surprised at hearing from me ; but 
I cannot help writing you a few lines to cheer you up 
a little, and if my poor letter has the effect I wish it 
to, it will make me very happy. To begin ; I must 
say I feel very much for you, and so does dear mamma, 
who is always talking about you ; and I think I may 
tell you a secret, which is this : You will get a note 
some fine morning, asking you to come and see us in 
the holidays. You need not get angry and say you 
will not eome because Edmund is sure to be at home, 



156 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

because he is going to Germany. We mean to send 
him to Bonn or some place abroad. "Will you mind 
writing to me to tell me how you get on ? I am so 
anxious to know if you are very much teased by the 
other boys. I have shown this letter, as far as I have 
gone, to mamma, and although she scolded me at 
first for writing it, she says that now it is written I 
may send it, and she told me to add, that a cake and 
some other trifles will be sent to some one at Mr. 
Wynne's whose name begins with B. And now, as 
mamma is going to send Thomas to the post almost 
directly, I must conclude my letter by assuring you 
that you are never out of our thoughts, and we shall 
always love you for your noble kindness to that bad 
boy, Edmund. Ever yours, gratefully." Then came 
the signature. 

Butler Burke read this charmingly innocent 
epistle over a dozen times, and then put it away in 
his bureau amongst his most sacred treasures, and 
whenever he was more than ordinarily miserable, 
he would take it out and read it over again. He 
thought so much of it that he would not even show it 
to Purefoy, to whom, as his great friend and ally, he 
confided everything. Chorley was evidently playing 
a part in his persecution of Butler Burke, and he 
looked ill at ease. Perhaps he was ashamed of what 



UNDER A CLOUD. 157 

he was doing. Most likely he had taken Purefoy's 
money when acting on the impulse of the moment. 
Many boys have been known to yield in this way to 
a sudden temptation, the gratification of which has 
embittered their existence to its last moment. Con- 
sequences are not thought of until it is too late. 
Although he might have wished to make restitution, 
yet he had not the courage to do it ; and as day after 
day rolled on, and the days multiplied themselves 
into weeks, he found it more and more difficult to 
give himself up, and do justice to another wrongly 
accused. He saw also how dreadful the consequences 
of such an offence were, and he endeavoured to throw 
suspicion upon Burke in order to divert it from him- 
self. 

But there is one thing we must do Chorley the 
justice to mention; he had resolved from the first 
that if Butler Burke had been publicly accused of the 
theft, and if Mr. Wynne had threatened to have him 
flogged and sent away, then he would have come for- 
ward, have vindicated Burke's character, and have 
boldly declared himself the actual offender. But owing 
to the singular course events had taken, he had not an 
opportunity of doing so, and as time went on he was 
more and more confirmed in the dubious and cowardly 
course he had adopted. He thought that very likely 
next half the affair would be very nearly forgotten, 



158 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

and that Burke would by degrees recover his position 
in the school, and then, he added to himself, " Every- 
thing will come right again, and I shall not have 
been sent away, which I think would nearly break 
my heart. I can't think whatever made me bag 
Purefoy's tin. It was an irresistible impulse, and it 
betrayed me into an act I can never too much regret. 
It is a thing I will never do again, and as it is a 
secret, I must do all I can to keep it so, let the con- 
sequences be what they may to Burke or anybody 
else/' 



159 



CHAPTER XIV. 

BUTLER BURKE BREAKS HIS PROMISE. 

BUTLER BURKE, much to liis disgust, found himself 
every day growing more and more unpopular in the 
house ; and he could not disguise from his mind the 
fact that there was an organized party in the house 
who had resolved to hand themselves together in order 
to make the house so disagreeable and uncomfortable 
for him, and to render his life so miserable and un- 
satisfactory to him, that he would at the end of the 
half be glad to leave Eton altogether, or, at any rate, 
that he would prefer moving to some quiet dame's 
house, where he would not be so much molested and 
persecuted. This organization, in a house like Wynne's, 
was most formidable ; because the house had a repu- 
tation for bullying, and had acquired a sort of pre- 
eminence in the art all through College. 

Just about this time Chorley acquired a little popu- 
larity by an event that happened in College. The 
provost, who was a very old man, died, and the head- 
master reigned in his stead. It used to be the custom 



160 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

for every new head-master to give the first boy he 
flogged a birch that had never been used before, tied 
up with Eton blue ribbon ; and in addition to that, 
a dozen of champagne only I believe the latter has 
fallen slightly into disuse. Chorley was well acquainted 
with this fact, and he determined to get the birch. 
He observed to one of his friends, that "he didn't care 
a hang about being flogged as long as he got the 
twigs." He hadn't quite made up his mind how he 
would get them. He certainly might blow up the 
gas-works, but then in all probability he would be sent 
away. He might shirk chapel and six o'clock absence 
on the first Saint's-day, and scull up to Maidenhead 
in his outrigger ; but he thought the surest way would 
be to shirk the first school. This he did, and was of 
course "put in the bill." After he had received the 
castigatiou, he coolly demanded the birch, reminding 
the head-master that it was a time-honoured custom ; 
and after a little conversation his request was acceded 
to, with a promise that it should be sent to his tutor's. 
This was accordingly done, and Chorley had it sus- 
pended over his mantelpiece on the horns of a stag. 
This made Chorley rather famous, and almost every 
one in College came to look at "Chorley's twigs/' All 
this was annoying to Butler Burke, who saw that the 
more he was persecuted and tormented the better 
Chorley got on. It was extremely mortifying, and 



BUTLER BURKE BREAKS HIS PROMISE. 161 

Burke felt it. He knew that he could crush him with 
a word, and yet he could not utter that word. Chorley, 
as far as he was concerned, was safe. Another thing 
which worried Burke as much as anything was the 
great amount of fagging he had to do. Almost all 
the boys in the house fagged him whenever they could 
get hold of him. 

One day he was as usual sitting in Purefoy's room 
engaged in study, when a stentorian " Here \" re- 
sounded through the passage. 

" I say, there's a ' Here ! J " said Purefoy. 

" Yes, I heard it plain enough," replied Burke ; 
"but they need not alarm themselves I am not 
going. I shall say that I am fagging for you." 

" Don't say that/' said Purefoy. " It is not strictly 
true, you know; and if I were appealed to, I could 
not say you were fagging for me" 

" Well, but I want to finish this ' Lucian/ " said 
Burke ; " and I feel so comfortable and jolly, that I 
would give anything not to be disturbed. Besides, 
fellows are always fagging me, and I don't .see it." 

" You had better go, I think ; it is Lascelles' voice, 
and he is sure to lick you if you keep him waiting. 
The chances are there is no one else in now, and that 
you are the only Lower boy on the passage." 

Purefoy's advice was too good not to be acted upon. 
Burke did not want to be licked by Lascelles, so he 
11 



162 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

went to his room as quickly as he could, just as 
another " Here \" was ringing along the passage. 

"Why didn't you come before, Master Burke?" 
exclaimed Lascelles. 

" I was at the other end of the passage, and I was 
not quite sure at first whether it was a ' Here' or 
not," replied Butler Burke, trying to excuse his 
remissness. 

" In fact, you waited as long as you dared, to see 
if any other fellows would come." 

" I swear I didn't, Lascelles/' replied Butler Burke, 
rather " in a funk" at the expression of Lascelles' 
countenance. 

" Well, you will just send the first Lower hoy you 
meet to me, and fag up to Layton's yourself, and get 
me a penny bun ; and when you get there, mind you 
don't steal anything, as they will most likely stick it 
up to me/' 

To be fagged up to Layton's was no joke, for it was 
a shop in Windsor opposite the Castle, nearly two 
miles from Burke' s end of College, and Butler Burke 
did not look very happy at the prospect before him. 

" Be off with you !" said Lascelles, as Burke picked 
up the penny he had thrown carelessly towards him. 
" Perhaps you will be a little more lively the next 
time I give a ' Here !' " 

Butler Burke went downstairs to the lower passage, 



BUTLER BURKE BREAKS HIS PROMISE. 163 

and there he found two or three Lower boys, among 
whom was Ahbott. Burke could not help selecting 
him. 

" Lascelles wants a Lower boy, Abbott/' he said, 
" and you had better go to him. I shall tell him I 
told you. You bad better make haste, too, or he'll 
send you up to the end of the Long Walk to get a 
bit of moss from the statue." 

" He'd better send you to steal a pint of pigeon's 
milk, or a hot-water ice, or a map of the Undiscovered 
Islands,' "'cried Abbott, dexterously springing by Burke, 
and running up to Lascelles' room. 

When he entered it, Lascelles exclaimed 
" It is very odd I can't get a Lower boy when I 
want one. Where did that little disguster, Burke, 
meet you ?" 

" In Lower School-passage/' replied the Hon. Mr. 
Abbott, inventing a lie of no ordinaiy magnitude. 

" "Well, go to Webber's, and get me half-a-dozen 
bottles of lemonade, a dozen sponge-cakes, and half-a- 
pound of ice vanille." 

"Tick?'' inquired Abbott, laconically. 
"Yes ; down to my tick, and if you're more than five 
minutes, I pity you," said Lascelles, significantly. 

Butler Burke returned to Purefoy's room, looking 
rather disconsolate. But when he told Purefoy where 
Lascelles had fagged him, he said, 
112 



104 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" I think I can help you out of your little diffi- 
culty. The last time I was up town, I bought some 
things at Layton's, and consequently I have some 
of their bags. You will find them on the top shelf 
iu the bureau. I cannot give you a bun, but you 
will easily get one at Brown's, which, in com- 
parison with Layton's, is no distance at all. So 
you see, you must not look so cut up. You can 
iinisli your Luciaii, and in about three quarters of an 
hour you can go to Brown's and get the bun. You 
must take very good care that Lascelles does not 
see you, though/' 

Butler Burke thanked Purefoy very much indeed 
for this suggestion, and resolved to act upon it. Las- 
celles took the bun when he brought it him, looked 
at the name on the bag, and then shying it at him, 
told him to eat it ; and although Burke was not at 
all in the humour for eating buns, as he had just in- 
dulged in some custards at Brown's, yet he was 
obliged to eat it before Lascelles would allow him to 
leave the room. 

The next day after twelve, Burke and Purefoy 
determined to vary the monotony of their lives by 
walking up to the oak in the Playing Fields to whip 
the stream for a trout. So taking their rods with 
them, they left their tutor's, and went towards their 
destination. As they got into the street, it seemed 



BUTLER BURKE BREAKS HIS PROMISE. 165 

rather singular to Burke that about a dozen hoys, 
from their tutor's, appeared to he following them. 
" Perhaps they are going to play at cricket, or stump 
and hall, or something of that sort," he thought. 
Yet whatever their object might be, he could not help 
feeling uneasy, he hardly knew why. When they 
entered the Playing Fields he turned round and saw 
that these boys were still following them, and he 
recognised them as the most virulent and determined 
of his persecutors. Chorley was there, and Abbott, 
and several others whom he knew entertained a feel- 
ing of most violent hatred and dislike to him. Burke 
did not say anything to Purefoy about this, because 
he thought he would only laugh at him for being so 
nervous as to apprehend anything unpleasant from 
the fact of ten or a dozen boys from their tutor's 
having followed them to the Playing Fields. Purefoy 
was looking at the sky, and calculating the position 
of the wind, and prophesying a good morning's sport, 
in which predictions Burke could not acquiesce. 
However, he held his tongue, and in due time they 
crossed the bridge over Fellows Pond, and struck 
across Lower Club towards the river. To Burke's 
great alarm, the boys who had been following 
him pursued the same direction. As he noticed 
this, he could not conceal his fears, and he said to 
Purefoy. 



166 ETOX SCHOOL DAYS. 

" I say, Purefoy, I dare say you will think me a 
fool, but those fellows with Chorley and Abbott have 
followed us all the way from my tutor's. I don't 
know what to make of it. They don't any of them 
belong to Lower Club, so they can't be coming to 
play here, and from what I know of them, I think 
they must be following me to bully me. What do 
you think?" 

Purelby turned round, and reconnoitred their pur- 
suers, who were laughing and talking together, as if 
anticipating some great amusement. 

" I really don't want to disturb you, but I can't 
help thinking the same thing. It is so odd that they 
should come up here. They are not going to fish, 
that is very clear, because they have no tackle with 
them." 

Very much concerned, and ill at ease, the two boys 
walked on to the oak, and leant over the railings to 
look at the stream. It was a lovely morning for 
fishing, and the fish themselves were very lively, 
jumping up and down, and disporting themselves in 
every part of the stream. There had been a little 
rain the night before, and consequently the river was 
not quite so clear as it usually was. But that was 
all the better for their purpose, as the fish would bite 
more freely. 

"Let us show them that we are not afraid of them/' 



BUTLER BURKE BREAKS HIS PROMISE. 167 

said Purefoy. " Take out your rod and begin to fish. 
On occasions of this sort there is nothing like a little 
confidence/' 

Burke assented to this, and they both got out their 
lines, and finding a favourable spot where the branches 
of the trees would not interfere with their piscatorial 
operations, they commenced their pastime. The boys 
who had been following them stopped and held a 
council together, and at last they walked directly 
towards Burke and Purefoy, who continued quietly 
fishing, only their hearts beat a little quicker than 
usual at the anticipation of the annoyance and 
violence which certainly appeared in store for them. 
Burke after a little exertion succeeded in landing a 
fine fish, weighing between four and five pounds. 
Purefoy was riot long in obtaining one somewhat 
smaller. When Chorley and his friends came up to 
the oak they looked on for a few minutes without 
speaking. At last Abbott laid hold of Burke's fish, 
and sticking a willow branch through its gills to carry 
it more easily, expressed his determination of carrying 
it back to College. 

" You must be a thief to steal another man's fish 
like that," said some one with a laugh. 

Butler Burke blushed crimson at this speech ; and 
now he knew that Chorley and the rest of them had 
come there to persecute and annoy him. The tears 



168 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

sprang involuntarily to his eyes as he thought how 
powerless he was to resist so many. If it had only 
been Abbott, he knew he could easily have thrashed 
him. 

" Oh, I don't see why I shouldn't. It seems to be 
the fashion to bag things at my tutor's/' replied 
Abbott, swinging the fish over his shoulder. 

As Butler Burke saw Abbott making off with his 
fish, he got into an uncontrollable passion, and throw- 
ing down his rod, he rushed after him, saying, " You 
put it down, will you ?" 

Thus conjured, Abbott thought that discretion was 
the better part of valour, for he had been rather 
roughly handled by Burke on one or two previous 
occasions, so he threw down the fish and ran 
away as fast as his legs would carry him. Burke, 
however, ran the faster of the two, and after a short 
chivey, succeeded in capturing him. "Where he hit 
Abbott, Burke scarcely cared, but a shower of blows 
descended upon him, here, there, and everywhere. 
Abbott shouted loudly for assistance, which was 
promptly rendered him. For a short time, until 
Abbott was actually overtaken, Chorley and his 
friends had looked on, waiting the issue of the race; 
but when that was no longer doubtful, they rushed 
forward in a body to rescue Abbott. Purefoy remained 
with his rod in his hand a passive spectator. What 



BUTLER BURKE BREAKS HIS PROMISE. 169 

could he do ? positively nothing ; so he waited the 
issue of events. Chudleigh and Fisher were the first 
to lay hold of Butler Burke, and that too in no 
gentle way. 

" Hold him, and let Abbott lick him !" exclaimed 
some one. 

No better plan being proposed, they held Burke, 
while Abbott revenged himself by kicking and hitting 
him to his heart's content. His struggles were in- 
effectual, and he had the mortification of being bullied 
by a fellow who would not have dared to speak to 
him if he had been by himself, instead of being backed 
up by ten or a dozen fellows. 

" I think I should duck him in the river," sug- 
gested Chudleigh. " I believe they used to duck 
thieves in the Middle Ages." 

" Yes ; let's duck him ! Let's duck him I" 
repeated all of them, much pleased at the sugges- 
tion. 

Burke made frantic efforts to escape from his 
tormentors, but they were fruitless; his hat 
had rolled to the ground long ago, and had been 
trampled under foot. His jacket was torn up 
the back. His face was bleeding from some violent 
blows, and altogether he presented a very sorry 
spectacle. 

Burke finding that he could not escape, made up 



170 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

his mind to tell Chorley something that would make 
him repent his share in the transaction. 

" Purefoy, come here !" cried Burke. 

"Purefoy can't help you, my good thief," said 
Chudleigh, coarsely. 

Purefoy, hearing himself called, came up to the 
throng around his cousin. Although he knew nothing 
about fighting, he had resolved, if they tried to throw 
him into the river, that he would do all he could to 
create a diversion in his favour. 

" I want to speak to Chorley, Purefoy," said Butler 
Burke. "There can't be any harm in that, surely. 
They may do what they like with me after that. You 
talk to them, will you ? I am too excited." 

"Let him speak to Chorley, you fellows," said 
Purefoy, who guessed what Burke was going to do, 
and who was secretly rejoiced at it. 

"Well/' said Chudleigh, "he may speak to Chorley 
if he likes, but he must make haste about it." 

Chorley looked a little uncomfortable, as if he did 
not exactly like the turn affairs were taking. 

" Hold him tight," he said. 

" Oh, don't be alarmed ; I am not going to touch 
you," replied Butler Burke, his lip curling with 
ineffable disdain. " The hiding I gave you in Sixpenny 
was enough to last you your lifetime, I should think ; 
but never mind. Come here, I wont keep you a 
moment." 



BUTLER BURKE BREAKS HIS PROMISE. 171 

Chorley approached, and Butler Burke whispered 
something in his ear. The communication was not a 
very lengthy one, but as Burke proceeded Chorley's 
face turned ashy pale, and he listened with the greatest 
interest. When Burke left off, Chorley looked as if 
some one had struck him a heavy blow and half stunned 
him. Turning to Chudleigh, he said, "Let him go, 
Chudleigh, will you ? He has had enough/' 

"Let him go! Why, just now you were very 
anxious to shy him into the Thames, and now you 
say, let him go. What has he been saying to you? 
He must have some strange influence over you. I 
for one shall not let him go. For my part, I hate 
thieves, and I don't see the fun of having any at my 
tutor's." 

" Well, I have changed my mind," replied Chorley, 
who, physically, was no coward. " Why, does not 
matter to anybody. And if any one tries to annoy 
Burke, why, he will have to see which is the stronger, 
him or myself." 

" All right, I'll back you up," said Purefoy, 
valiantly, although he trembled a little at his pre- 
sumption. 

"Now, will you let him go?" exclaimed Chorley. 

" No, I wont," replied Chudleigh, resolutely. 

" Very well, then, take that/' said Chorley, giving 
him a heavy and unexpected blow in the face. 



172 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

This released one of Burke's arms, and he made the 
most of the opportunity by hitting Fisher as hard as 
he could. After this the fight became general ; but it 
was a very unequal contest of more than three to one. 
Purefoy, although he did more than any one expected 
from him, was soon disposed of, and sat on the ground 
wiping the blood from his nose, and having very con- 
fused ideas of things in general. Chorley did not 
seem to fight as well as usual. He was confused by 
something, and appeared very much at sea. Butler 
Burke did wonders, but he was eventually over- 
powered, and while some of the combatants guarded 
Chorley, the others took hold of Burke by the arms 
and legs and dragged him towards the river. No 
one spoke a word ; but the purpose of all was evident. 
Butler Burke knew that intercession on his part 
would be worse than useless ; but he was consoled by 
the fact that he had had a struggle for his liberty. 
When his captors reached the bank, they swung him 
backwards and forwards two or three times, and then 
let "him go. Butler Burke fell with a dull, heavy 
splash into the river. The stream being very rapid 
at that particular point, he reappeared considerably 
lower down towards the bridge. As soon as he came 
to the surface, he swam with a few vigorous strokes 
towards an ait which stood in the centre of the stream ; 
upon this he landed, and sat down shivering and 



"BUTLER BURKE BREAKS HIS PROMISE." 173 

shaking upon the ground. His enemies looked over 
the willows that fringed the bank, and watched him 
with some interest. Chorley walked moodily back 
to College. Purefoy walked to the river bank, and 
stooping over, dipped his handkerchief in the stream 
and bathed his wounds. This was the position of affairs 
when Mr. Wynne suddenly made his appearance on 
the scene. He had been up to his farm at Chalvey, 
and he had taken the Playing Fields on his way home 
as being pleasanter than the Slough road. 

"What is all this?" he said, sternly, laying his 
hand upon Chudleigh's shoulder. 

All started at the sound of his voice, but no one 
made any reply. Purefoy having gone through his 
lavatory process, approached the group. When 
Mr. Wynne saw him, he said, 

" Come here, Purefoy. Why, what is the matter 
with you all ? you appear to have had a general fight. 
Will some one be good enough to explain the mean- 
ing of such a singular scene? And who is that on the 
ait in the river ?" 

" I don't see why you should not know sir," replied 
Purefoy. " That is Butler Burke on the ait, and he 
has been shamefully treated. He left College with 
me to fish this morning, and all these fellows followed 
us, and after annoying us in every way, they threw 
Burke in the river." 



174 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

" Is this true ?" asked Mr. Wynne. 

" Yes, sir, it is," replied Chudleigh ; " we did throw 
Burke in the river, and as Purefoy lias chosen to tell 
you all ahout it, I will tell you why we threw him in 
the river. He is a dirty little thief, and stole some 
of Purefoy's money, and as Purefoy is his cousin, he 
did not like to tell you." 

Here was a dilemma for Mr. Wynne. The cata- 
strophe they had all heen trying to avert, had in spite 
of all their efforts, happened at last. 

" I will look into this," he said. " In the mean- 
time I shall take down your names." Having written 
down their names on a piece of paper, and deposited 
it in his pocket, he went to the hank's edge, and 
shouted, "Burke!" 

" Yes, sir !" replied Burke, who knew his tutor's 
voice. 

" Can you swim back to shore ?" 

" I am afraid not, sir ; the stream is so strong," 
replied Burke, who had been debating that question 
with himself for the last three minutes. 

" Then stay where you are until I send a waterman 
to you." 

Burke promised to do so. Telling the boys to go 
back to College, Mr. Wynne took Purefoy with him, 
and walked rapidly to where he knew there usually 
was a waterman. Having found him they got into 



BUTLER BURKE BREAKS HIS PROMISE. 175 

his punt, and Mr. Wynne told him to punt up stream. 
When they reached Burke, he was half dead with the 
cold ; but they got him back to College, and gave 
him a warm bath, and some brandy-and-water, and 
in the afternoon he was himself again. 



17G 



CHAPPER XV. 

RUNNING AWAY. 

CHOELEY walked back to College very much perplexed. 
Butler Burke's communication to him had not been 
of a very reassuring nature. Burke under the in- 
fluence and excitement of the moment had to a 
certain extent broken his promise to Constance. He 
had told Chorley that it was well known by Mr. 
Wynne, and his cousin Purefoy, that he was really the 
thief who had stolen the money. " If you want any 
proof or confirmation of this assertion," he said, 
" you must come to my room, and I will give you all 
the particulars minutely." Chorley, wishing to know 
the worst, had made up his mind to come to Butler 
Burke, as the latter had proposed, and with that 
intention he sought him in his room after four that 
day. Burke had recovered his involuntary immersion 
in the river Thames, and was reading a book. When he 
saw Chorley enter, he exclaimed, " I was expecting 
you; sit down, and I will answer any question you 
like to put to me." 

Perhaps he only wants to frighten me into some 



RUNNING AWAY. 177 

confession, thought Chorley; it is as likely as not 
that he has his suspicions, but how he can have any 
certain proof against me I cannot imagine. He says 
that my tutor knows all about it. "Well, in that case, 
why does he not tell me of it, and complain of me at 
once? My tutor, I know, is not the sort of man to 
let a thing hang over a man's head for any length of 
time in that way, and that affair happened on the 
4th of June, while it is now the first week in July. 
In addition to all that, Burke has been accused of 
stealing the money, and has been a good deal bullied 
about it. Now it stands to reason if he really knew 
who did it, that he would move heaven and earth to 
exonerate himself and clear his character. I am 
afraid I was a great fool this morning to take his 
part as I did, and to believe him so readily. Perhaps 
it is not too late even now to put a bold face on the 
matter, and repudiate the whole thing. I think I 
had better try it, at all events, and see what effect it 
has upon him. 

<c I am sorry those fellows shied you into the river 
this morning," said Chorley ; " but you know, the 
fact is, they have a great prejudice against you." 

" They have, I know/' replied Butler Burke; "but 
that prejudice will soon be transferred to another." 

" What do you mean ?" demanded Chorley, slightly 
alarmed. 

12 



178 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"I mean what I say; that the real culprit will 
soon stand in his proper position." 

" Then you mean to stick to what you said to me 
this morning, which, as of course you are aware, I 
only laughed at. I defended you from Fisher and 
the others because we used to be great friends once, 
until this unfortunate affair, you know, between you 
and Purefoy." 

" Between yourself and Purefoy, you mean, my dear 
fellow," said Butler Burke, astonished at his cool 
impudence. 

" It is very easy for you to say so, but what proof 
have you ? Naturally you wish to exculpate yourself 
as well as you can ; but of course I am not going to be 
made a scapegoat for you without attempting to de- 
fend myself." 

" I will give you every proof," said Burke. " You 
have at last come to the point, and now you shall 
hear everything." 

Chorley got up and stood near the fireplace, with 
his arms folded and his head a little bent, while his 
eyes were fixed upon the carpet. : tier Burke told 
him how Purefoy had first of all put the different 
links of evidence together until they found one long 
chain, which was then presented to Mr. Wynne, who 
upon being convinced that it was truthful, and would 
hold water, wrote instantly to Mrs. Chorley, who, in 



RUNNING AWAY. 179 

conjunction with her daughter, had induced him to 
promise that he would not say a word to any one 
until the end of the half-year. " And if I had not 
been driven pretty nearly mad this morning, I 
would not have done it." 

" And my mother was here, and I knew nothing 
at all about it \" exclaimed Chorley. 

" She was too ill to see you, and every one thought 
it would be better not to say anything to you upon 
the subject at present." 

"Pretty well you have kept your promise to my 
mother," said Chorley, bitterly. 

The truth of what Butler Burke said flashed 
across his mind directly, and he knew that he was dis- 
covered. It was a crushing reflection, because he had 
flattered himself that he had cleverly directed suspicion 
into another channel. 

Chorley could easily guess what the sequel would 
be ; he had heard from Chudleigh that Mr. Wynne 
had come unexpectedly upon the scene, and the con- 
versation that took place subsequently had been 
repeated to him v Mr. Wynne was clearly bound 
now to clear Butler Burke from all suspicion ; and 
Chorley knew very well that he would do what his 
duty dictated. Chorley had his generous impulses as 
well as his bad ones, and after a few moments re- 
flection he said to Burke, 



180 ETON" SCHOOL DAYS. 

"lam much obliged to you, Burke, for your kindness, 
and if I ever see my sister again I will tell her that 
you are not to blame ; circumstances were too strong 
for you. You have behaved better to me by far 
than I have to you. Don't say anything ; I am going 
to speak to my tutor. I can see very plainly that 
my little game is over here. "Well, it is a pity, but it 
can't be helped ; it is no use crying over spilled milk ; 
and I suppose people will say it served me right/' 

There was an expression of despair upon Chorley's 
face as he said this that rather touched Burke, who 
felt sorry for him. 

"I am sure I could not help it/' said Burke to 
himself, as Chorley slowly left the room ; " they 
drove me to it, and after all it came about through 
circumstances over which I had no control. I wonder 
what be meant by saying, 'If he ever saw his sister 
again ;' and why is he going to his tutor ? He is rather 
an extraordinary fellow; I never could quite make 
him out." 

Mr. Wynne was in his Pupil-room looking over 
Verses, when Chorley came to him with a request to 
speak to him alone for a minute or two. 

" Will not after six do as well ? I am, as you see, 
very much occupied just now, and, to tell you the 
truth, I v/ould much rather not speak to you at all. 
You can easily guess why." 



RUNNING AWAY. 181 

" I shall take it as a very great favour, sir, if you 
will speak to me/' said Chorley, with au earnest 
sadness in his grave face. 

"Very well, very well/' said Mr. Wynne, im- 
patiently; "come in here/' And he led the way into 
his study. " Now, what is it ?" he asked. 

"Butler Burke has told me all, sir, and now, what 
.are you going to do with me ? " replied Chorley, 
abruptly. " I wish you to be frank with me ; I don't 
want to be told that I have behaved badly, and all 
that, because I know it. It is a very important crisis 
in my life, sir, and I think I have a right to ask what 
you intend to do." 

Mr. Wynne, finding that he had been entrapped by 
Chorley's decision into a conversation he had wished 
to avoid for the present, thought that as the subject 
had been broached, the best thing he could do would 
be to go on with it and have it out at once, so he replied, 

" There are only two courses open to me, as 
your tutor, Chorley; the original plan I consented 
to at the urgent entreaty of your mother and sister 
has by some strange means been defeated, and I must 
do justice to Butler Burke. If you stop at Eton 
you must be flogged and turned down; and even then 
it is doubtful whether the head master will consent 
to your staying ; but, perhaps, at my intercession he 
may. If you like to chance that, you can ; but if not, 



182 ETOX SCHOOL DAYS. 

you must instantly return home. However, I have 
telegraphed to your mother, to hear which of the two 
courses she prefers, as it is only proper that she should 
decide for you. I do not wish to be hard or unkind, 
but my duty is plain and simple." 

" Very well, sir ; I am much obliged to you for 
being so candid with me," said Chorley. " As you 
have sent to my mother, I must of course wait till 
you receive a reply." 

Chorley walked out of the study without another 
word, and Mr. Wynne thought he must be a hardened 
boy to take the serious consequences of his offence so 
quietly. 

That day, at five o'clock school, all who had par- 
ticipated in the outrage on Butler Burke in the 
morning, were sent to the head master to be flogged, 
which, as may be supposed, did not increase Burke's 
popularity. 

Although Chorley appeared not to be alive to the 
disgrace that he had incurred, he was in reality very 
much so. So much so, indeed, that he resolved to 
run away. He very quickly made up his mind that 
he would not be flogged and turned down, and then 
take his chance of being sent away. Nor did he like 
the idea of being sent home to his mother's custody. 
He hardly liked to face her tears and lamentations. 
He thought to himself that he would leave Eton that 



RUNNING AWAY. 183 

evening quietly, and no one should know where he 
had gone to for the present. That would also be more 
like his general character, which was bold and adven- 
turous to a degree. He had an uncle in the north of 
England who was a civil engineer, who was at that 
time engaged in constructing a railway through 
an important part of Yorkshire. This uncle would 
be likely to receive him kindly, and he would, 
perhaps, apprentice him to his own business. He 
would write to his mother from his uncle's house, 
and then everything would be arranged in a proper 
manner. He had plenty of money, for his mother 
had been unusually liberal in that respect lately, and 
he had several times been at a loss to understand 
the reason of such munificence ; but since the events 
of the morning he understood it fully. One thing he 
was as firm as a rock about, and that was, he would not 
be disgraced and flogged before his friends and com- 
panions. He would rather die first. His arrangements 
were soon made. He would not burden himself with 
carpet-bags, or any unnecessary wearing apparel; 
what he stood upright in would amply suffice him until 
he reached his uncle's house in Yorkshire. His room 
was on the lower passage, and his window looked out 
upon the yard. He would not go until after lock-up, 
as he might be missed and traced. As he was a 
Lower boy, his candle was taken always at ten o'clock. 



184 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Then would be the time to go. Of course getting 
out of the house in the ordinary way was out of the 
question ; he must of necessity make his exit through 
his window. From this there was a drop of from 
ten to twelve feet, and he thought that it would Le 
only prudent to tie his table-cloth to one of the bars, 
and to descend by that, which would reduce the drop 
to something insignificant. There were still some 
dangers to be anticipated before he got clear of College, 
because he had the gauntlet to run of all the police- 
men and masters who chanced to be out. 

Sometimes boys were allowed to go out after lock- 
up, very often in winter, when lock-up is at six, but 
not so frequently in summer, when it is so much later. 
Whenever this happened it was customary for the 
boy's tutor to give him a pass, or piece of paper with 
the boy's name written on it, the hour when he went 
out, and the tutor's initials or name at the bottom. 

Chorley had often amused himself by imitating his 
tutor's initials, or more strictly speaking initial, for 
lie used to sign orders, and Themes, and Verses with 
an unpretending W. So Chorley had no difficulty in 
making himself a pass, and then he thought he was 
prepared for every contingency. He was so anxious 
that he could not eat any supper ; but he appeared in 
the room, and he showed himself at prayers. Some 
of his friends looked coldly upon him, and he felt that 



RUNNING AWAY. 185 

rumours were getting abroad about him. He had, by 
referring to "Bradshaw," found that a train left Wind- 
sor at 10.45. If he did not catch that he would have 
to stop at Windsor all night, and that he did not wish 
to do, as it would be extremely dangerous. The thing 
that Chorley dreaded more than anything was the 
telegraph. If this were put in operation, he knew he 
would not succeed. If he could once reach London 
he would be safe. He would get a cab outside the 
Great Western Railway station, so that the vehicle 
could not be traced by the railway officials, and drive 
direct to the Great Northern, where he would take 
the mail to Carlisle. These were his plans, and after 
prayers he got into bed with his things on, and waited 
impatiently for Susan to take his candle. 



186 



CHAPTER XVI. 

BUTLER BURKE'S TRIUMPH. 

CHORLEY had not long to wait in his enforced and 
somewhat uncomfortable position, for in a few minutes 
the hoys' maid appeared, and saying, " Good night, 
sir/' took the candle away with her, thus effectually 
preventing any re-illumination. 

Sometimes hoys read after their candles have been 
taken, but very seldom. Generally speaking they are 
too tired to do anything of the sort, and as a rule 
they go to sleep almost as soon as they get into bed ; 
but when they do light a surreptitious candle they are 
prudent enough to hang up one of their blankets or the 
counterpane against the window, or the light would 
otherwise penetrate to the street and catch the wary 
eye of the night policeman, who is instructed to inform 
the masters of houses of all such breaches of discipline. 

As soon as Susan had left the room, Chorley got 
carefully out of bed, and walking gently across the room 
opened his window. Singularly enough, Purefoy's room 
was exactly over Chorley's, and as the latter put his 
head out to reconnoitre the night and the state of the 



BUTLER BURKE'S TRIUMPH. 187 

yard, lie distinctly heard Purefoy's voice in eager con- 
versation with some one whom, in a few moments, he 
discovered was Butler Burke. Turning almost on his 
back, Chorley looked up, and much to his delight 
perceived that although Purefoy's window was open 
he was not looking out. Still there was every neces- 
sity for the greatest caution ; and in his movements 
Chorley was as quiet as a mouse. He had undone his 
window with the greatest gentleness and care. It was 
not like ordinary windows ; it was one of those which 
take out altogether when they do come out; in fact, 
strictly speaking, they are not intended to come out 
at all. There is a small part of it at the top which, 
as you push it, swings back on a pivot ; but the lower 
part will not come out unless you remove one of the 
uprights, which are nailed into the frame to keep it 
in its position. This Chorley, in conjunction with 
nearly everybody else, had long ago done ; so that 
all he had to do on the present occasion was 
to remove the window, and place it on the floor by 
the side of the wall. He accomplished this satisfac- 
torily, and he next took his tablecloth and tied one 
end of it to a bar which ran across outside his window. 
Whether this bar was originally placed there to pre- 
vent any one getting either in or out, I cannot 
possibly undertake to say ; but it certainly proved no 
obstacle or impediment to Chorley; indeed, it rather 



188 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

assisted him than otherwise. For had it not been 
there he must have tied the cloth to the leg of a 
chair, or some other equally unsatisfactory piece of 
furniture. 

The night was rather dark, but the light coming 
from the different boys' rooms made a sort of artificial 
light in their immediate neighbourhood. Chorley 
was not afraid of this; his only fear was that he 
might be seen or heard before he got clear of the 
precincts of his tutor. There was no lock ' or key to 
his room, but he had had a bolt put on near the 
bottom ; and with the assistance of this he could sport 
his oak whenever he chose. He had frequently done 
so ; and if any boys came to his door, and were refused 
admittance, they would think that he was asleep and 
would not answer. Shooting the bolt into its place, 
he put on his hat, and feeling in his pocket to sec if 
his watch and money were safe and in their proper 
places, he prepared to descend. 

Just as he was about to throw the tablecloth out of 
the window, he heard some one cough above him. He 
instantly conjectured that it was Purefoy. The voices 
had ceased, and Purefoy's visitor, whoever it was, had 
evidently retired to his own room. Most likely Purefoy 
had come to the window to indulge in a reverie ; if 
so, he might stay there till midnight who knew ? 
Chorley cursed Purefoy in his heart, and wished him 



BUTLER BURKE'S TRIUMPH. 189 

at the bottom of the Thames. It \vas certainly very 
provoking, for time was flying with its proverbial 
rapidity; and do what he could, Chorley's thoughts 
were eternally fixed upon the chances of his catching 
the 10.45 train. Upon his succeeding in doing so, 
everything depended. Fuming and fretting at the 
untoward delay, he stood impatiently waiting for some 
sign that Purefoy had retired from the window, but 
he heard nothing. It would not do at all to venture 
to escape under Purefoy s very nose as it were, because 
the slightest noise would most probably arouse his at- 
tention, and he would give an alarm which would be 
fatal to Chorley 's plans. 

"While in this state of suspense and anxiety, the 
college clock solemnly and slowly struck the quarter 
past ten. Chorley stamped his foot upon the floor 
with vexation, and bit his thumb-nail to the quick. 
He almost despaired now of being able to put his 
plans into execution. Suddenly he heard a noise as of 
some one moving overhead ; then he distinctly heard 
the window put in. Chorley thanked Heaven that at 
last this danger was removed ; Purefoy had at last 
gone to bed, and now he could let himself down to 
the ground without fear of detection. 

Getting out on the ledge of the widow, he seized the 
tablecloth with both hands, and went down as sailors 
do on a rope, hand over hand; but when he was 



190 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

about a couple of feet from the bottom, the cloth 
gave way and he fell heavily to the ground the cloth 
descending gracefully upon him in his fall. The 
distance he had to drop owing to this accident was 
not <n*eat, and he was only a little shaken. It was in 
one respect a fortunate occurrence for him, as the 
tablecloth would not now be left as a witness against 
him. Taking it in his hand, he threw it behind one 
of the gates of the yard, and then walked quickly 
through College. Fortunately he encountered no 
one, and succeeded in reaching Barnes' Pool in per- 
fect safety. 

After he had once crossed the bridge, he ran as 
fast as he could up town. Chorley was a good 
runner, and he did his best on the present occasion. 
After severe exertions he reached the station, and 
rushed on the platform. He did not wait to take a 
ticket, because he was afraid he would not have the 
A hne. He had often on previous occasions taken his 
place in a carriage, and given a porter some money to 
get him a ticket. It was this course that he in- 
tended to pursue now; but his astonishment was 
intense when he perceived a solitary porter turning 
out the gas. Going up to him, he said, 
" Am I in time for the 10.45 up train ?" 
" 10.45 up train, sir? just gone, sir/' replied the 
porter, in a sleepy voice. 



BUTLER BURKE'S TRIUMPH. 191 

Chorley staggered against the wall, and uttered 
an exclamation of despair. The train had gone; 
what was he to do ? To remain in Windsor all night 
would be to invite certain capture in the morning. 
There was one chance left, and that was but a slender 
one; he might possibly obtain a fly at the White 
Hart or the Castle, which would take him up to 
London. He had taken off his white tie and put on 
a coloured one, so that he did not look like an Eton 
boy; he might say that he was an officer in the 
army, and that he had to report himself at head- 
quarters at a certain time. He would most likely 
have to pay heavily for the accommodation, but that 
he was prepared to do. 

Collecting himself, he went to the White Hart 
Hotel, and asked if they had any ilys. They replied 
that they did not send out so late at night, except 
very short distances. Chorley, a little discouraged, 
walked on to the Castle. Here they were more 
obliging, and by promising to pay what they de- 
manded, he found himself in a short time rattling 
along the London road at a good round pace. 

Chorley's absence from his tutor's was not dis- 
covered until the next morning, when the boys' maid 
came to call him. Her surprise was unlimited when 
she found the bed was empty. 

" He have slep' in it/' she muttered, as she perceived 



192 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

that the clothes were ruffled. Thinking that he had 
got up early and gone to bathe before school, she said 
nothing about it. 

The preposter of Chorley's division marked him 
t ab hora" in the bill ; and as he had several excuses 
to get, he thought he would not go for Chorley's 
until the last, as Mr. Wynne's house was at the 
extremity of the College, consequently he did not 
send in his bill until after prayers. 

The first thing in the morning, Mr. Wynne received 
a telegram from Mrs. Chorley in answer to his own. 
It was brief, and to the point ; it consisted of these 
words ; but what could have been more expressive ? 
" Send him home." It was all that she could trust 
herself to say, and Mr. Wynne felt that she had 
acted wisely in so deciding. 

" But," he said," before he goes, which shall be after 
breakfast, I must let the boys know that Butler Burke 
is innocent of the charges that have been laid against 
him/' ' 

After prayers that morning, Mr. Wynne said to the 
captain of the house, who was about to leave the room, 
" Stop a moment, Wingfield, and you other boys. I 
have something to say to you." As the boys heard 
this announcement, they all remained in their places, 
and Mr. Wynne, after a preliminary cough, said : " I 
want to say a word or two to you about an injustice 



BUTLER BURKE'S TRIUMPH. 193 

you have done Butler Burke. You have accused him 
of a very grave crime, the actual perpetrator of which 
will leave this house in half-an-hour. Burke, I may 
say, was perfectly able to prove his innocence at any 
time, but yielding to the urgent invitation of several 
people, he consented to lie under the stigma of being 
considered a thief, until the end of the half. I need 
not ask you to do Burke justice. Now go and talk 
it over amongst yourselves." 

Butler Burke was overwhelmed with congratulations, 
and those who had been most bitter against him were 
now his warmest friends. 

When the preposter came to ask why Chorley 
was not in school, Mr. Wynne was a little sur- 
prised ; but when he was nowhere to be found, his 
surprise was unbounded; he caused a search to be 
made in every direction, but unsuccessfully, and his 
agitation increased hour by hour, until in the middle 
of the day it culminated, and he was on the point of 
going to London to put the police on the alert, when 
he received a telegram, dated Carlisle Station, that 
Chorley had arrived safely at his uncle's, and telling 
Mr. Wynne not to be anxious about him. 

Thus ended an unpleasant affair, which, however, 
as we have seen, turned out well for our hero in the 
end. 

13 



CHAPTER XVII. 

MAKING HAY. 

CHOHLEY was not very much missed at Wynne's. As 
it i& in the great world, so it is at Eton. If a boy 
leaves, he. is to a certain extent dead to the rest of 
the school. He is very rarely talked about next half; 
his particular friends may say that it is excessively 
annoying ta:be deprived of his society, but even they 
iioon make fresh acquaintances, and in a very short 
space of time his memory dies out and he is forgotten. 
So it was with Chorley ; the fact of his running away 
and escaping from Eton without being caught created 
a little sensation. Boys canvassed it, and won- 
dered at it; but eventually Chorley was put down as 
a thief and a cad, and no one thought- it worth his 
while to mention his name. Butler Burke, as may 
easily be imagined, became a prodigious favourite. 
All the boys who had persecuted him when he was 
under suspicion endeavoured to make up as well as 
they could for their ill-usage. There were some who 



MAKING HAY. 195 

considered that Burke had behaved very sillily and 
brought it all on himself. If they had been in his 
position, they declared that they would have told all 
about it at once, rather than lie under the odious 
stigma of being looked upon as a thief. 

But these were boys of little magnanimity, who 
could not understand the beauty of Butler Burke's 
self-sacrifice. Burke himself was sorry for Chorley, 
but notwithstanding his grief for his former friend, 
he could not help feeling glad at the course events had 
taken. He would have been more than mortal if he 
had not done so. It placed him at once in his former 
position, and, in fact, elevated him a great deal higher. 
Mr. Wynne was very proud of him, and most of the 
boys in the school who knew anything about his story 
looked upon him as a sort of juvenile hero. This, 
however, soon passed away, and Butler Burke relapsed 
into his old ways and habits ; that is, he spent some 
of his time with Purefoy ; but a great deal more of it 
he spent in boating, and sometimes a game of billiards, 
although he rarely indulged in the latter amusement. 
He played 'a good game of billiards for a boy of his 
age, because he had been accustomed to play at home 
with his father on the long winter evenings. But 
his father had always cautioned him not to play more 
than a game now and then, as it was what he called 
132 



196 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

a "fur temporis," and " You know/' he added, " that 
you cannot afford to waste your time in playing at 
billiards. You must be Captain of the Boats before 
you leave Eton." 

Burke's father was tolerably well off, and he could 
afford to start his son well in the world. He did not 
care about his distinguishing himself in the school 
list; he only wished to see his name in the "Boating 
Calendar/' and to hear other boys say that he was a 
good oar. It is strange how old boating men wish 
to see their races rowed over again in the persons of 
their sons. 

Mr. Burke had been at Eton himself, and had been 
captain of the " Thetis." He would have been Captain 
of the Boats, only the captain of the "Prince of 
Wales'' happened to be desirous of the same honour, 
and as he had the right of seniority, he took pos- 
session of the coveted distinction. 

Mr. Burke could not stop another summer half, as 
he was already in the sixth, so he was obliged to leave ; 
and now he wished to see his son attain the aquatic 
honours which had been denied him. Butler Burke 
was at first very much grieved when he thought of 
Constance and Mrs. Chorley. He pictured to himself 
their grief, their inconsolable chagrin, at the unfor- 
tunate events in which the brother and son had been 



MAKING HAY. 197 

the chief actor. What would they think of him? 
He had, to some extent, been to blame in the matter; 
but saying what he did would not have led to the 
disclosure of the real offender, had not Mr. Wynne 
come suddenly upon the scene and put the questions 
to the assembled boys which elicited the replies that 
came from them. He had broken his promise, which 
was, not to mention his knowledge of Chorley's 
guilt to anybody. He had mentioned it to Chorloy 
himself, and in that he was to blame : at least he 
thought so; and young minds are 'often very sensi- 
tive. He considered that some explanation and some 
apology ought to be made to Mrs. Chorley ; it might 
have been that he did not wish to lose caste in Con- 
stance's opinion, but however that was, he thought it 
his duty to write a letter to Mrs. Chorley. This epistle, 
which was composed by him with some care and a 
little expenditure of paper, was characteristic of the 
boy. It was generous in its tone, kind-hearted in 
its import, and altogether a letter which did him 
credit ; he said, amongst other things, 

"lam, perhaps, in writing to you, committing an act 
which you and Miss Chorley may consider indelicate. I 
should not be surprised if you look upon me as the 
destroyer of your son : if so, you would not be 
doing me justice. The painful discovery which, 



198 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

believe me, I allude to with regret, was made by acci- 
dent, and, upon my word, through no fault of mine. 
Chorley, I think, acted very wisely in going away asr 
he did, and I hope with all my heart that he may 
succeed in the new career which he has chosen. You 
must permit me to say that one fault committed in 
extreme youth does not necessarily condemn the one 
who commits it to a life-long punishment ; we think 
nothing of it here. The thing made a stir at first, 
but it was soon forgotten ; and most likely if you were- 
to come to Eton now and say to some boy, ' Who 
was Chorley ? ' he would reply, ' Chorley ! let me see. 
Who was he ? ' or something of that sort. I trust 
sincerely that you do not, my dear Mrs. Chorley, 
regard me with any displeasure, as I tried to do what I 
promised you under very disheartening circumstances ; 
and if I did not succeed as well as I wished, the 
failure cost me as much pain as it did Chorley's 
nearest and dearest friends." 

When this letter was despatched, Butler Burke 
waited impatiently for an answer. It was a few days 
before it arrived. To Burke's delight, he perceived 
that it was addressed to him in the handwriting of 
Constance. Trembling with eagerness he broke open 
the envelope and read it. It was everything that he 
eould desire. Constance said that her mamma had 



MAKING HAY. 199 

desired her to answer Mr. Burke's very kind note, 
and they both begged him to consider them his 
warmest and most attached friends. They entirely 
acquitted him of any blame, as they were sure he had 
done his best. It was the fortune of war, she said, 
and they supposed that misdeeds were always punished 
sooner or later. They hoped that Chorley would 
get on in his new vocation, and they had every 
reason to think so, for the letters they had received 
from him were quite reassuring, and full of hopes for 
the future, regrets for the past, and promises of amend- 
ment. In conclusion, they assured Mr. Burke that 
their feelings towards him were unaltered, and they 
hoped, if his friends made no objection, they might 
have the very great pleasure of his company for a 
week or ten days in the holidays. They would give 
a longer invitation, only they were sure his own 
family must .be so fond of him that they would refuse 
to part with him for more than that time. 

Burke was much pleased with this letter. He 
valued Constance's good opinion more than any one 
else's, with the exception, of course, of his mother 
and father, and he feared at one time that he had 
fallen into disgrace with her. But this letter set his 
fears at rest, and he was now perfectly happy again. 
Purefoy was especially pleased at Chorley's flight, 



200 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

because it exonerated Burke, and made him an honest 
man again with his companions ; but even Purefoy, 
after a short time, began to forget the occurrence 
and think of other things, for the life of a schoolboy 
is one of high-pressure. The steam is always up, and 
the puerile engine runs at speed along the scholastic 
metals. Burke did not forget it on account of Con- 
stance. Thoughts of seeing her again in the holidays 
kept the affair green in his memory. 

One day, after coming out of school, he proceeded 
directly to his room, and he was slightly astonished 
at the spectacle which presented itself. Usually his 
room was the picture of neatness, order, and regu- 
larity ; but now its condition was a mixture of chaos 
and Lisbon after the earthquake. Two chairs were 
elegantly perched upon the top of the bedstead. The 
table was standing upon its head, with its legs 
coquettishly protruding in the air. The contents of 
the water-jug had been emptied into the grate, which 
promised to become rather rusty in the morning in 
consequence. Some books were . floating upon the 
surface of the shallow pool formed in the grate by the 
water. The modest pictures turned their backs on 
such a scene of desolation, and hid their shining faces 
that the deed might pass unnoticed. Books were 
scattered about the floor like gems in the Eastern 



MAKING HAY. 201 

tale at the bottom of the Diamond Valley, and his 
tea and sugar had formed an indissoluble alliance with 
the remains of a pot of marmalade. 

Burke gazed on this with unutterable disgust. 
It was very clear that an enemy had been sowing 
tares, or in Burke's own vernacular, " Some infernal 
fellow had been making hay in his room." He had 
more than once assisted to " turn up" some other 
boy's room, but this was the first time he had ever 
experienced the bitterness of the thing himself. 
After gazing at it for a little time, and wondering 
who could have done it, he went into the passage 
and called Susan. 

Susan made her appearance after some delay, and 
on seeing the havoc, exclaimed with an unmistakable 
air of indignation, " Oh, Mr Burke ! who have done 
this?" 

" Just what I want to know," responded Burke, 
surlily. 

" Oh, dear ! oh, dear \" said Susan. 

"Extremely jolly, isn't it?" exclaimed Burke, 
satirically. 

" I never see such a mess/' replied Susan. 

" Nor I," said Burke ; " and as it is not a pleasant 
state of things, the sooner it ceases to exist the 
better; so lend a hand, Sukey." 



202 ETOX: SCHOOL DAYS. 

In a wonderfully short space of time things were, 
under the energetic efforts of the boys' maid, reduced 
to order. The books were securely encased, the 
pictures recovered their bashfulness, and the table 
and chairs were restored to their normal position. 
It must be confessed, however, that Susan did growl 
over the fire-grate, and no wonder. 

" That's better," cried Burke, at last, panting with 
exertion. " Sukcy, I'm indebted to you." 

Just as Susan left the room, Chudleigh entered it. 

" Have you heard about Lascelles ?" he exclaimed. 

" No ; what about him ?" 

" Oh ! if you have not heard, I'll tell you ; you 
ought to see it." 

" I am afraid I cannot get away, though, if it's 
any distance/' said Burke. 

" Why not ?" 

" Well, just at this moment, there is a great gulf 
between me and anything out of doors, which I must 
bridge over with a Copy of Verses." 

" Oh ! hang the Verses ; you had better come and 
see Lascelles drive tandem through College." 

" Drive tandem \" echoed Burke, in astonishment. 

" Yes ; why not ? Paddy Lascelles made a bet last 
week at the Barracks that he would drive through 
College twice and not be nailed, I think the bet's an 



MAKING HAY. 203 

even pony. He is to drive from the Castle through 
Eton to Slough, and back again to Windsor. He 
starts at half-past twelve ; so if you want to see it, 
you had better look alive/' 

" By Jove ! I think I shall fluke doing Verses ; I 
should like to see Paddy drive tandem through 
College/' said Butler Burke. 

" Well, if you like to come, you can come witty, 
me/' replied Chudleigh ; "and I will tell you all I 
know about the thing as we go along." 

" I wonder if he will get nailed ?" said Burke. 

Chudleigh also wondered, and both wondering, they 
left the house together. 



204 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

DRIVING TANDEM. 

CHUDLEIGH and Butler Burke made their way to the 
Wall. Several boys were standing about waiting to 
see Paddy Lascelles drive tandem, for the thing had 
got about, and some interest was felt in the success of 
his daring exploit. Their presence, however, was 
hardly fair to Lascelles, for it considerably increased 
the risk he ran. The Playing Fields were nearly empty, 
and even those who go down " to the sea in ships" 
had left the smiling Brocas ungraced by their presence. 
If any master had seen so many boys hanging about 
one particular spot, his suspicion that something was 
going on which was not strictly proper, would of 
course be instantly aroused. Spankey, Levi, and 
Bryan were at the Wall. The one with his tin-case 
full of " tarts, cakes, and buns," the other with his 
wicker-basket replete with the same juvenile delicacies ; 
and the latter with his ambitious-looking cart, from 
whose magic depths he extracted ices of three kinds, 
villanously compounded. Spankey 's facial muscles 



DRIVING TANDEM. 205 

were incapable of rigidity, for they seemed to be kept 
as well oiled as his smile, which was at all times pecu- 
liarly unctuous. 

" Tarts, cakes, and buns, this morning, sir ?" ex- 
claimed Spankey, with his accustomed affability. 

" What tarts have you ?" asked Burke. 

" Gooseberry, raspberry, and apple-tarts, sir Mr. 
Butler Burke, sir." 

" Well, give me a raspberry." 

The door of the black tin- case revolved with a 
grateful sound upon its amiable hinges, and disclosed 
three trays, one above the other. The middle one was 
pulled out by Spankey, and Burke was soon deeply 
occupied in demolishing the sweets he had asked for. 

" What for you, sir Mr. Chudleigh, sir ?" asked 
Spankey, in his blandest 1 and most insinuating 
manner. 

"Nothing," replied Chudleigh; "I wouldn't 
have anything from such a ruffian as you are. I tick 
with Bryan, and he is not so big an old Jew as you 
are." 

" Cent, per cent., sir, is his profits \" said Spankey, 
with his imperturbable smile. 

" Oh ! shut up," answered Chudleigh, contemp- 
tuously, going over to the place where Bryan's cart 
stood. On his way he passed Levi, the undersized 



206 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Jew we have mentioned before, whose features alto- 
gether would not have helped him much with a jury. 

Levi, in a thick, husky voice, for which he was 
remarkable, was saying to a boy who was trying tc 
induce him to trust him, 

" It's too pad ; you owe me thirty shillings, and I 
can't tick any more I can't, indeed, till you let me 
have some monish." 

The boy made a spring towards Levies basket, and 
pulled out a handful of cherries, with which he ran 
away triumphant, shouting out, 

" Sold again, you old cad !" 

To which Levi replied, in a low tone, "Yes, and 
not got the monish." 

Levi took out his note-book, and finding the place 
he wanted, on the top of which the boy's name was 
written, he put down " Cherries, Sd. ;" thereby 
charging eightpenee more than he had any legal or 
moral right to do. 

Bryan was more popular than Levi, whose trade 
seemed to be principally among the smaller boys, 
whose faculties were not sufficiently on the alert to show 
them that they were being made the spoil of Israel. 

When the boy who had plundered Levi of his 
cherries had run a little way, he stopped, and shot the 
stones at the Jew. He was as skilful with these pastoral 



DRIVING TANDEM. 207 

weapons as David the son of Jesse ; and the shower of 
stones that fell upon the Israelite's face stung him 
like so many gad-flies. 

Lascelles was acquainted with some of the officers 
who were quartered at Windsor, and they had one duy 
made him a bet that he would not drive tandem 
through College without being detected and flogged. 
He backed himself readily at three and two to one to 
do it. He felt confident in his power of " getting 
up" so that no one would recognise him. 

While Chudleigh was eating an ice, a slight commo- 
tion amongst the assembled boys showed him that 
Lascelles was coming. Turning round, he saw two 
handsome bays drawing a slender trap along in 
splendid style. Lascelles was dressed in a coachman's 
coat, of a whitey-brown colour, with a comforter 
round his neck. A white hat, with a black band, was 
set jauntily upon his head ; he had a pair of green 
spectacles on his eyes, and some dark whiskers, well 
arranged on his face, completed his disguise, which 
was not easily penetrated. His self-possession was 
admirable. He neither looked to the right nor to the 
left, but straight before him, and was soon lost to 
sight by the angle formed by the road to Slough. 
The crowd then dispersed few caring to wait until 
he returned. 



208 ETOX SCHOOL DAYS. 

At this juncture Mr. Wynne happened to pass by, 
and seeing the number of boys who were dispersing, 
he looked round him in some astonishment. At last 
he espied Burke and Chudleigh. Going up to them, 
he exclaimed, 

"What is the meaning of this, Chudleigh? I& 
anybody hurt ? or has there been a fight ?" 

" Yes, sir," replied Chudleigh, catching at the idea. 
" I believe there has, between two Lower school boys. 
I did not look at it. I happened to be passing by." 

" And you have been patronising the sweets, I sup- 
pose?" replied Mr. Wynne, looking at a half eaten tart 
he held in his hand. 

Satisfied with the explanation, Mr. Wynne passed 
on, and in a short time Laseelles drove back from 
Slough, passed through College a second time at a 
rapid pace, and drove into the court-yard of the 
Castle, where his friends were awaiting him. 

" I think it was a plucky thing for him to do/' said 
Chudleigh to Burke, as they went back to their tutor's. 

" Do you ?" replied Burke. " Well, it is one of those 
things I should not care about doing myself." 

When he got back to his room he busied himself 
for half-an-hour over longs-and-shorts and the 
" Labours of Hercules/' 



209 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE BELLS OP OUSELY. 

SUMMER half was drawing to a close. The sculling 
and the pulling were over. To the great delight of 
every inmate of Mr. Wynne's house, Lascelles had won 
the former, and great were the exertions of Butler 
Burke at hoisting. He had gone down to Barnes 
Pool, where a great number of boys were collected 
discussing the race, and awaiting the coming of the 
swells from the Christopher. The wall was entirely 
covered by boys, who kicked their heels monotonously 
against it, all, by the way, keeping time together. 
This produced a dull sort of sound, which was not 
exactly unmusical. When a horse or a cart, or a solitary 
wayfarer passed through College on his way to Slough, 
or to Windsor, they were assailed by a perfect storm 
of shrieks, and howls, and hisses ; and, in fact, every 
description of puerile noises. Sometimes the horses 
would prick up their ears and start off at a quick pace, 
giving their drivers great trouble to hold them in 
When this was the case the noises were redoubled. 
After the race, all the swells, or men, in the boats 
14 



210 ETON" SCHOOL DAYS. 

went to the Christopher to drink Lascelles' health in 
brimming cups of champagne. When this was over, they 
all, to the number of about sixty, went into the street 
and formed into two solid rows, each taking the arm 
of the one next hing. Then this phalanx marched 
steadily and irresistibly into College, sweeping all 
before it. When Barnes Pool bridge was reached, 
two boys placed themselves one on each side of Las- 
celles, who placed an arm round each of their shoulders. 
Another boy went in front, and putting one of 
Lascelles' legs under each arm, he was raised com- 
pletely from the ground. Then they started off up 
College with him, the whole school running before and 
after them, shouting, hurrahing, and waving their hats. 
Having gone as far as Luxmore's old house, they 
turned round again, and having reached the spot they 
started from, all his friends advanced and patted him 
on the back until his breath was nearly beaten out of 
him, saying, 

"Well sculled, old boy! Well sculled, Lascelles ! 
Hurrah \ 

While this is going on, all the boys rap with their 
knuckles on the top of their hats, or move their hands 
about inside of them, making a great noise and this 
is hoisting. Eight hundred boys, glowing with the 
exercise, in a frenzy of excitement, doing homage to 



THE BELLS OF OUSELY. 211 

one who has proved himself superior to all in the 
pastime that Etonians excel in; that boy himself 
standing proudly happy, like a king, to receive the 
applause of the whole school. It is a sight that 
cannot be seen anywhere in the universe but at Eton. 

Butler Burke, nothwithstanding that Lascelles had 
often given him a licking, liked him. Besides, if 
he had hated him, he would have been glad of his 
triumph, because it was a triumph for the house ; and 
the pride Eton boys take in belonging to a swell 
house is a little remarkable. So Burke nearly knocked 
the crown out of his hat in his frantic demonstrations 
of delight ; and then he went up to him and patted 
him timidly on the back, crying out, 

"Well sculled, Paddy; bravo, old fellow!" But 
directly afterwards he took care to get out of the 
reach of Lascelles' boots, as he had a wholesome dread 
of being " back-shinned." 

The day after the hoisting, Burke had an engage- 
ment with Purefoy. It was " play at four," and they 
had the afternoon to themselves. They had arranged 
to go somewhere, but they had some difficulty in 
making their minds up. Burke proposed Salt Hill; 
but Purefoy said he was tired of the place. He also 
objected to the Bells of Ousely, as being a little too 
far. At last he suggested that they should go to the 

142 



212 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

end of the Long Walk. Butler Burke grumbled at 
this, because there was no prospect of beer ; but he 
sullenly acquiesced, and they started on their way. 
"When they arrived at the station, Burke said, 

"I feel awfully thirsty; I don't know how you feel." 

Purefoy could not help confessing that the heat had 
made him, in rustic phrase, " rather dry/' 

" Well, then," said Burke, " let us run over to the 
Bells j we shall have lots of time to do it." 

After some demur, Purefoy consented, and they 
struck across the Park. They had some difficulty in 
finding their way, and once or twice nearly lost them- 
selves. In fact, they were so long in going that 
Purefoy more than once proposed that they should 
turn back, but this Butler Burke would not listen to. 
He had come out for some beer, he said, and he 
would not go back without it. Besides, it was not 
likely he would, after going such a thundering long 
distance after it. To this Purefoy replied that there 
were beershops in Windsor. 

" I don't care about that," said Burke ; " we are 
nearer the Bells than we are to Windsor, and I don't 
think I could get back, upon my word I don't, with- 
out some malt liquor." 

ft Well, if you are determined, I suppose we must go 
on ; but I can tell you one thing." 



THE BELLS OF OUSELY. 213 

" What is that ? " 

" Only this ; we shall miss absence as safe as a 
shot." 

" All right ; I can do a hundred lines, I suppose ? " 
replied Burke. 

Purefoy growled now in his turn, and they 
walked on in silence, until the Bells hove in sight. 
It had formerly been a very popular hostelry with 
Eton Boys when the boats went down the river; 
but now Surly Hall has usurped its place, and the 
Bells is only famous for its traditions, and its beer, 
above all its beer, which is really excellent. When 
they reached the Bells, it was half-past five. 

When Butler Burke saw the time, he pulled rather 
a long face. 

" Make haste, Butts, and drink your beer/' said 
Purefoy. 

" What for ?" asked Burke. 

"What for? Why, to get back to College, of 
course, in time for six o'clock absence. We have half- 
an-hour, and we may do it if we sweat." 

" Oh ! I dare say. I am not going to do anything 
of the sort," replied Butler Burke, decisively. 

Purefoy looked astonished. 

" If you like you can go back ; but if we were to run 
ever so hard we could not get there in time." 



214 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"Do you think so?" 

"I am sure of it." 

" In that case, what are we to do ? " 

" Why, we may as well stop here as do anything 
else. We are safe for a hundred or two hundred lines, 
and we may be as well hanged for a sheep as a lamb, 
so let us stop here an hour and walk home quietly. 
Be jolly for once in your existence, and make your 
miserable life happy." 

Purefoy, after thinking the matter over, sat down 
and made the best of things. They had another pot 
of beer, and went down to the bank of the river to lie 
down on the grass and the stones which fringed it. 

When we consider the walk they had had, the heat 
of the weather, and the strong ale they had imbibed, 
it is not surprising that they both fell asleep. The sun 
went down during their slumbers; the swans on the 
river retired to their nests; the night dews began 
to descend, but still they slept. 

All at once Purefoy awoke, and started up. It was 
nearly dark. It could not be far off nine o'clock. 
He trembled all over. At first he could not under- 
stand it all ; but the truth soon burst upon him. They 
had fallen asleep, and had slept a long time. Going 
to Burke, he shook him. Burke turned over and said 
in a low drowsy voice, 



THE BELLS OF OUSELY. 215 

'All right, Sukey, look in again." He thought he 
was being called in the morning. 

" Now look here," said Purefoy, " we have got our- 
selves into a beastly row." 

" Eh?" said Burke, sitting up and rubbing his eyes. 

At last the situation forced itself upon him. 

" Well, you're a nice fellow, to sleep like that," he 
said, laughingly. 

" It is all very well to laugh ; but what is to be 
done?" replied Purefoy. 

" Oh ! if that's all, I can soon tell you." 

" Can you? I wish you would then." 

" Well, I suppose we must have some more beer, 
and then cut home as quickly as we can." 

" What a fellow you are for beer ! I think you have 
had enough already," said Purefoy, who was in a bad 
temper. 

"I am the best judge of that," replied Burke, 
entering the public, and calling for a pint of ale. 

By the time they left the Bells it was almost dark, 
and the boys were in some apprehension lest they 
might again lose their way. 

This was a reasonable fear, for the path was any- 
thing but well defined. 

Purefoy was excessively annoyed at being out so 
late. He knew Mr. Wynne would be alarmed, and 



216 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

would worry himself. He had never done such a 
thing before, and he walked along sulkily, without 
speaking a word. At last Butler Burke broke the 
silence, 

" My tutor wont say anything ; so you needn't look 
so cut up about it." 

Purefoy growled a reply. 

" Oh ! if you are going to sulk, you can," replied 
Burke. " I dare say I can be as disagreeable as you." 

" And a little more so," put in Purefoy. 

"Come, old boy, I can make allowance for your 
feelings; but what is the good of turning rusty? 
with me, too. I haven't done anything." 

" Oh, haven't you? I think you have." 

"What?" asked Burke. 

" Why, if it had not been for you, we should never 
have gone to the Bells." 

"Well, it's no use crying. Here, drink a drop of this." 

"What is it?" 

" Only a little brandy I got before I left. I thought 
we might want it." 

Purefoy took the proffered cordial, and drank a 
little. This mollified him, and he condescended to be 
more sociable. 

" Do you think we are going the right way ?** ho 
asked his cousin. 



THE BELLS OF OUSELY. 217 

" To tell you the truth, I don't," replied Burke. " I 
have not much knowledge of the Park, but I have 
wandered about here and there occasionally. If we 
get out of these trees, we shall see the lights from the 
Castle." 

They walked on heavily and wearily for some time, 
but they did not emerge into the open- 
After some time they could not disguise from them- 
selves the fact that they were lost in the forest. It 
was not a nice prospect; but they were more annoyed 
than frightened. There was no moon, and they only 
had that hazy sort of light which is characteristic of 
our summer nights to guide them. There was a slight 
breeze, which whistled mournfully through the trees ; 
the crisp leaves rattled together. Occasionally a bird, 
disturbed, would fly away with strange noises, and a 
rabbit would rise under their feet, making them 
start, and dart away. 

Purefoy proposed that they should rest a few 
minutes and think what was best to be done. They 
sat down at the foot of a thick gnarled oak, blighted 
and withered. It had a sort of railing round it. 
When Burke perceived it, he changed colour, and 
laid hold of Purefoy "s arm. 

" Look 1" he said, in a tremulous voice ; " that is 
Herne's Oak." 



218 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE HAUNTED OAK. 

MOST people have heard of Herne's Oak, which has 
been celebrated by Ainsworth in his admirable romance 
of " Windsor Castle/ 5 Those who have not read 
Mr. Ainsworth's book may still have heard of the far- 
famed tree. Although the ghost which used to haunt 
the immediate vicinage of the tree is supposed to have 
been laid by the blessed ministrations of holy priests, 
still two schoolboys may be excused for feeling a little 
nervous at finding themselves at about ten o'clock at 
night near the haunted Oak. 

When Purefoy heard Butler Burke's remark, he 
smiled, although he could scarcely help shivering. 

" Well, suppose it is Herne's Oak ; what of it ?" 
said Purefoy. 

" What of it ? Well, only this, that I wish I were 
a few miles away/' replied Burke. 

While he spoke, the crescent moon broke from the 
clouds which had hitherto obscured it, and the blasted 
Oak was distinctly visible. Purefoy thought of " The 



THE HAUNTED OAK. 219 

Merry Wives of Windsor," and how poor old Falstaff 
was pinched by the fairies and sylvan spirits. The 
Oak looked harmless enough in the calm flood of 
moonlight which streamed down upon it. Its twisted 
branches appeared white and silvery. Here and there 
a limb stood out rather threateningly, as if holding 
forth a menace to the nocturnal wanderers who had 
taken the liberty of reclining at the base of the parent 
stem. 

" You may chaff as much as you like, Purefoy," 
said Burke ; "but I don't half like this/' 

"What bosh!" 

" Bosh ! is it ? All right, old fellow ; it may be bosh. 
We shall see. I hope if the ghost does come, he will 
pay you more attention than me." 

Burke, after this pious wish, took the flask out of 
his pocket, and imbibed some more brandy. He 
afterwards handed it to Purefoy, who was not above 
following his example. 

" I suppose the ghost ought to come with horns on 
his head ?" said Purefoy ; " so if you saw a stag with 
antlers, you would swear you had seen Herne the 
Hunter." 

Butler Burke was about to reply, when something 
arrested his attention. With his eyes fixed upon some 
object in the distance, he seemed incapable of opening 



220 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

his mouth; he could only point with his finger. 
Purefoy looked in the direction indicated, and per- 
ceived a dark shadow flitting about from tree to tree. 
Then it disappeared. 

"There! did you see that?" cried Butler Burke, 
the perspiration starting from every pore. 

" Yes, I did ; perhaps it is some ranger or game- 
keeper." 

" It is no more a gamekeeper than you are/' re- 
plied Burke, his teeth chattering together. 

" What is it, then, as you seem to know all about 
it?" asked Purefoy. 

"Why, it's a ghost; it's Herne the Hunter." 

At this announcement, Purefoy laughed outright. 

" Oh ! you may laugh," said Burke angrily ; " but 
you will find out presently that it is nothing to laugh 
at. I have often been told about this tree, and 
the strange things that are seen here; and now I 
believe it all. Why, there isn't a man or a woman 
in Windsor who would go within half a mile of it 
after dark." 

Purefoy remained silent after this. He was rather 
interested; he did not go the length that Burke did, 
but there was a mystery somewhere, and he was 
determined to solve it. While he was gazing 
intently at that part of the forest where the 



THE HAUNTED OAK. 221 

apparition had been last seen, it appeared again, and 
it was strange that either it had the power of being 
in three places at once, or else there were two other 
creatures veiy much resembling it. 

" Now what do you think ?" asked Butler Burke. 
" You wont say you don't believe in ghosts now, will 
you ?" 

"Yes, I will," replied Purefoy boldly. 

"What do you call that, then?" said Burke, 
pointing triumphantly towards the forest. 

"I don't care for that," said Purefoy. 

" But seeing's believing, isn't it ? " persisted 
Burke. 

" In this case it is not." 

"Well, then, how about the Witch of Endor; you 
believe that, don't you?" 

" Things are altered since those days," replied 
Pnrefoy, feeling a little uncomfortable when Burke 
spoke of the Witch of Endor. He could not help 
thinking of an old illustrated Bible they had at 
home, in which was a terrible picture of the witch 
raising up the body of Samuel to Saul. 

An open glade stretched from the haunted oak to 
the belt of trees which we have called the forest. 
This glade was not of any great extent, but the 
ghost or ghosts would have to pass across it before 



222 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

they could molest the boys. The apparitions con- 
tinued to flit about ; first here and then there, much 
to both Purefoy's and Burke's alarm, although the 
former was more puzzled than frightened. 

" I wish you would go away from here," said 
Burke. " Let us make a run for it." 

" If you like, we will ; but I should like to see the 
end of this," replied Purefoy. 

" Oh ! would you? then I should not. I have seen 
quite enough, I can assure you," replied Burke ; " and 
if you had the least regard for me, you would go at 
once." 

" Well, but which way shall we go?" 

" Which way ? Well, my idea is that the Castle is 
behind the ghost." 

"In that case we should have to pass it," said 
Purefoy. 

" So we should," said Butler Burke, looking rather 
crestfallen. 

" Will you take my arm ? and together we shall be 
a match for any ghost. Besides, I have heard that 
ghosts never hurt people," said Purefoy, trying to 
reassure his more timid friend. 

" I don't know," said Burke doubtfully, ransacking 
his mind for all his nursery lore. "I think," he 
added, " that I have read somewhere that the 



THE HAUNTED OAK. 228 

leprechauns in Ireland will bite and pinch you if you 
laugh at them. 

" Oh ! don't talk such nonsense/' replied Purefoy, 
losing his patience. " I am more afraid of a blow on 
the head with a stout cudgel than any of the non- 
sense you talk of. But come, if you intend to ; my 
tutor's will be shut up, and we shall have the police 
scouring the town after us." 

" All right, I suppose. If you will be so foolhardy, 
I must come with you." 

Rising from the ground, they stood up and looked 
about them. Purefoy could not help wishing that he 
had a yard and a half of good blackthorn, for he 
was more afraid of human agencies than of super- 
natural ones. They had proceeded half-way across 
the glade, when three distinct apparitions showed 
themselves. This time they were all together. They 
did not raise their arms or menace the boys in any- 
way. They seemed perfectly still, like misty exhala- 
tions. Could they be spectral illusions? Purefoy 
determined to find out. The faint pale moonlight 
revealed a few stones lying at his feet ; he selected 
one, and stooped down to pick it up. Then with 
great rapidity, he threw it at the spectres. He heard 
a cry, which was weird and ominous. It sounded 
like " wyl wyl onowmen." 



224 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Was this the language of the spheres, or the tongue 
in which departed spirits converse ? Purefby did not 
seem to know exactly. Directly after the stone was 
thrown, the illusion, if it was one, vanished. 

Butler Burke gazed on all this with tacit amazement. 

"Now for it," cried Purefoy; "let's run for it." 
And leading the way, he plunged into the darkness 
that was caused by the deep foliage of the trees. Burke 
followed closely at his heels. Hardly had Purefoy pro- 
ceeded a dozen yards under the shelter of the trees, than 
an iron grasp descended on his arm, a hand was placed 
over his mouth, and he lay upon the grass a prisoner. 

It was too dark for Butler Burke to see plainly 
what had become of Purefoy, but he missed him. 
Gazing around him in great perplexity, he stood, at a 
loss what to do. While in this state of anxiety and 
doubt, he was treated in the same way as Purefoy, 
and he lay helpless on the ground in the hands of his 
captors. He was in great alarm, for although 
naturally a brave boy, he was a little nervous on the 
present occasion, and his conversation with Purefoy 
had prepared him for an encounter with some 
impalpable beings. Not a word was spoken, but he was 
conscious of some one of the ghosts rifling his pockets, 
and then they disappeared as noiselessly as they 
came. 



THE HAUNTED OAK. 225 

" Purefoy !" cried Butler Burke, as soon as he 
recovered his presence of mind. 

Soon an answer came from a spot hardly six feet 
from where he himself was. 

Getting up, Burke walked over to where the voice 
came from. 

"They haven't spirited you away, then?" asked 
Purefoy, laughing 1 . 

" What is the meaning of it all?" inquired Burke, 
who had rather vague ideas of the whole occurrence. 
He could not say that they were ghosts now, but he 
was not very clear about the matter. 

" Have the plundering rascals robbed you, too ?" 
asked Purefoy. 

Butler Burke felt in his pockets, and replied rather 
angrily, 

" Confound it ! yes ; six bob I had in my breeches- 
pocket, and my watch and chain. By Jove ! that's a 
little too bad." 

" Nice sort of ghosts, eh ?" said Purefoy. 

" Have they served you thesame?"said ButlerBurke. 

" Exactly ; every rap I had they've taken, besides 
my watch." 

" What where they, then, do you think ?" 

" Gipsies, my dear Butts ; I heard them talking 
to one another in their own language. But let us get 
15 



W6 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

t>ack as soon as we can, and tell the police ; they may 
catch them. I don't feel inclined to lose my property 
in this way. I suppose you will shut up about 
ghosts, though, after this/' 

" I say, don't tell the fellows ; I shall get chaffed 
awfully," said Burke. 

" I wont promise," replied Purefoy ; " the joke is 
too fine. But come on, we must make haste. It must 
be nearly eleven o'clock." 

After some running, they saw the lights of Wind- 
sor Castle, and guided by these, they soon got into 
the town of Windsor. They told the first policeman 
they met how they had been robbed, and then hurried 
back to College. When they were half way between 
Windsor Bridge and Barnes Pool, they met their tutor 
with two of tli 9 College policemen. He was coming 
out to look for them. Mr. Wynne sternly demanded 
where they had been. Purefoy told his story plainly 
and ingenuously. Mr. Wynne was much annoyed, 
but eventually the ghost part of the story made him 
laugh, and he told them to hurry home to get some 
supper. The next day he told them to bring him the 
morning's Homer, written out and translated. 

The police after a desperate fight with the gipsies, 
whom they easily discovered, recovered the stolen pro- 
perty ; BO that the chaff about ghosts was the only 
consequence of their adventure. 



227 



CHAPTER XXI. 

A WATER PARTY. 

IT was Mr. Wynne's custom to give a water party 
every summer half. Sometimes he went down the 
river, and sometimes in the other direction. Last 
summer he had gone down as far as Staines, and pic- 
nicked in the vicinity of the stone which marks the spot 
where the mailed barons forced King John to sign 
the Charter. So this year he resolved to go up. 

A former pupil of his lived near Cookham, and he 
knew that he would gladly allow hu< to bring his 
boys to that part of his estate which fringed the 
river. However, he wrote him a line saying, 

"My DEAR WETHERALL I was really at a loss to 
know where to go this summer, until I thought of 
you. But I am sure you will, with your usual kind- 
ness, allow us to camp somewhere on your territory. 
We shall not come like a flock of locusts to devour the 
land, because we shall bring plenty of good things 
with us, which I sincerely hope you will help us to 
152 



228 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

demolish. If I should in any way be trespassing 
upon your kindness in selecting your place for my 
water party, pray let me know." 

The reply from Wetherall was equally urbane ; and 
it was finally decided that the boys should this year 
go up the river. 

Burke had never been to a water party, as this was 
his first half at Eton, so he looked forward to the 
excursion with some anxiety. He was afraid at first 
that Mr. Wynne would not ask him to come, because 
he very rarely took any but fifth and sixth form boys. 

However, Butler Burke was so great a favourite with 
his tutor, that Mr. Wynne asked him among the first. 

" Have you ever been to one of my tutor's water 
parties ?" he said to Purefoy. 

"Yes. Last year I went. I had just got into 
fifth form, you know." 

" Did you like it ? Is it good fun ?" 

" Yes, it is very jolly indeed ! We went down the 
river last year," replied Purefoy.. 

"Which way are we going now?" 

"Up, I think past Maidenhead. The river is 
very pretty there, from all I have heard." 

" Do all the masters in College have these parties?" 
said Burke. 



A WATER PARTY. 229 

" I am sure I don't know : you had better ask 
them," replied Purefoy, testily. 

He was reading ; and when a person is reading, 
and trying to digest what he reads, he does not like 
to be interrupted. 

" Well, you needn't snap a fellow up like that," 
said Burke. 

" I'm reading." 

"Yes; I see that/' 

" If you were reading, would you like to be 
"badgered ? " 

" I don't want to badger you," answered Butler 
Burke. 

" Then why do you do it ?" 

" Oh ! you are a beast. I am sorry Chorley's 
gone." 

When Purefoy heard him say this, he put down his 
book, and said very quietly, 

" I don't think it is exactly right or proper for you 
to talk to me like that." 

" Well, never mind, old boy," replied Burke, good 
temperedly. " I only wanted to make you talk. 
Put down your book, and come out. You will kill 
yourself if you sap eternally as you are doing at 
present." 

" But " exclaimed Purefoy. 



230 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Oh ! yes ; I know. The ' New-castle* is all 
very well, but it is not everything. For my part 
I would rather be Captain of the Boats than get a 
dozen ' New-castles.' But I do not like to see you 
work so awfully hard. Why, the work you do here 
would get you three or four B.A.'s at Oxford." 

Purefoy laughed, and said, 

" It is very kind of you to take so much interest 
in me ; but I know what I can do without hurting 
myself." 

"All right," said Butler Burke; "it is nothing 
much to me ; only don't over do it, that is all." 

And he left the room, wishing his cousin would be 
"a little more like other fellows." 

Burke was a believer in muscular Christianity, after 
the creed of Kingsley, and he could not understand 
his cousin's being so fond of the house and his books. 

" But never mind," he added, " I'll see if I cannot 
bring him out next half. He can play at football, I 
hope, if he can't row/' 

"When the day appointed for the water party 
arrived, all the boys who had been invited went down 
to the rafts. A whole holiday had been chosen for 
the occasion, and the boys were, through Mr. 
Wynne's intercession, excused church and absence. 

They had some boats celebrated rather for their size 



A WATER PARTY. 231 

than their speed, which was not very great at the best 
of times, but the arras which were to propel them 
through the water belonged to young and ardent 
boys, who were elated at the prospect before them, 
and ready to work " double tides," simply because 
they worked with the grain instead of against it. 

The boys embarked about twelve o'clock in the 
morning. The weather was everything they could 
wish. The sky was blue, flecked here and there with 
white, and the heat was rather too intense if any- 
thing. 

Mrs. Wynne and some friends of hers travelled to 
the spot overland in a carriage. Mr. Wynne went 
in the first boat, and Lascelles had the command of 
the second. 

Butler Burke and Purefoy were together, but they 
had not much chance of conversing with one 
another, for Burke was condemned to hard labour. 
In other words, he had to pull the bow oar ; and 
Purefoy sat by the side of his tutor very much as a 
Venetian senator might have sat in his gondola during 
the palmy days of the Republic. 

There was nothing much to interest the boys until 
they passed Monkey Island and reached Maidenhead. 
Just before they got to the lock, Butler Burke thought 
he would chaff Purefoy. 



232 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"I think you might do something, Purefoy," he 
said, as he bent over his stretcher. 

" I am doing something," said Purefoy : " I am 
looking after you, and seeing that you work pro- 
perly." 

"Oh! that is nothing." 

" Well, what do you want me to do ?" 

" Oh ! come and pull for a little while ; I think I 
have had a pretty good spell at it." 

"I don't think Purefoy can be better employed 
than, as he says, in looking after you," said Mr. 
Wynne, looking at Burke. 

"Why, sir?" cried Burke. 

" You require the assistance of leading-strings now 
and then, you know," replied his tutor, signifi- 
cantly. 

" Please, sir," said Burke. 

" If you are tired, I'll come and take an oar," said 
Purefoy. 

"Will you? Come along then," replied Butler 
Burke, taking him at his word. 

The boat was near the lock now, and the boys 
ceased pulling, to shout out, " Lock," as hard as they 
could, in order to arouse the dormant faculties of the 
lock-keeper ; for lock-keepers are usually only suscep- 
tible to the voices of bargees, whose lungs have been 



A WATER PARTY. 233 

lately strengthened by an almost unhealthy indul- 
gence in puppy-dog pie. 

Purefoy took his cousin's place out of pure good nature. 

Burke was not sorry to be relieved, because the 
sun was very powerful. He had at first only intended 
to have some fun with Purefoy, but as he expressed 
himself willing to take his oar, he let him have it. 

Purefoy had some misgivings as to his proficiency in 
aquatic pastimes, but he bravely determined to do his 
best. What that was we shall see presently. 

The lock-keeper's tympanums at last proved them- 
selves to be mortal, and in obedience to the noisy 
summons of the boys, the lock gates swung slowly 
open, and the imprisoned water began to stream 
through with many a gurgle and bubble. At last 
one was wide open, and the captain of the boat said, 

" Row on all." 

As Purefoy was bow, his keeping stroke was not of 
very much consequence. He rowed as well as he 
could, and as there were only a hundred yards or so 
to go, his performance passed without public criti- 
cism. When they were near the lock, and the boat 
had acquired an impetus, the captain, cried "Ship," and 
everybody, with the exception of Purefoy, shipped 
their oars cleanly and well. Purefoy first put his oar 
one way and then another, and at last got totally 



234 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

bewildered. When the boat was half in the lock, his 
oar was held straight up in the air. 

" Ship your oar, Purefoy," said Mr. Wynne, who 
was watching him. 

Purefoy endeavoured to do so, but in his extreme 
anxiousness to acquit himself favourably, he, to a 
certain extent, lost his head, and allowed his oar 
to catch in a crack in the lock gate. All his efforts 
did not suffice to extricate it in time, and as the boat 
was going rather quiokly, the inevitable consequence 
was that the blade snapped like a piece of cane, and 
Purefoy sat with the stump of the oar in his hand, 
while the other piece remained sticking in the wood 
of the lock gate, as a standing triumph of his 
skill. 

Purefoy looked so disconsolate, and so annoyed ; but 
everybody laughed. 

Mr. Wynne could not help joining in the merri- 
ment. 

" Come over here, Purefoy," he said. "Never mind; 
accidents will happen to the best oar. We must send 
Butler Burke back again." 

" But there is nothing to row with, sir," replied 
Butler Burke, who thought that he had escaped any 
more hard work. 

" Oh ! but there is, though," said Mr. Wynne. "I 



A WATER PARTY. 235 

provided against just such a contingency as has hap- 
pened. Look in the bottom of the boat and tell me 
what you see." 

Burke looked, and saw another oar, which he con- 
trived to extricate; and as he took his seat once 
more, the laugh was against him. 

At Cookham Lock they stopped a few minutes to 
taste the ginger beer for which the place is famous ; 
then they rowed on gaily again until they came to 
the place where Mr. "Wynne had been asked by 
Wetherall to land. 

As the keel of the boat grated upon the pebbles, 
Wetherall himself came up to welcome them. After 
he had shaken hands with Mr. Wynne, he led him 
and his party through a gate and past a clump of 
trees, where his visitors were much surprised to see a- 
tent erected in the neighbourhood of a leafy covert. 

" That is very kind of you," exclaimed Mr. Wynne. 
" I did not expect that." 

Wetherall made no reply, but looked very pleased, 
and led the way inside the tent. 

On the ground were several cans of cream, and 
two or three large baskets of strawberries. When 
Wetherall saw Mr. Wynne's eyes light upon them, he 
said, deprecatingly, 



236 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"I thought you wouldn't mind; we have such 
lots of strawberries here." 

Mr. Wynne shook his hand, and went outside again 
to superintend the disembarkation of the provisions, 
which was satisfactorily accomplished, as everybody 
had an interest in doing it well. 

Shortly afterwards Mrs. Wynne and her friends 
arrived, having crossed the river at Maidenhead, and 
come along the towing-path at the bank, which saved 
a very considerable round. 

The cloth was soon laid, the viands displayed, and 
the serious part of the excursion began. It was not 
a noisy or a demonstrative party. Nobody talked 
loudly, nobody sang songs, nobody pi-oposed healths 
or toasts ; but every one enjoyed himself in a quiet, 
gentlemanly manner. After dinner the boys dispersed 
to amuse themselves for an hour, and Burke and 
Chudleigh went together. They walked listlessly 
along by the side of a hedge for some time. There 
was a sort of enclosure before them, which contained 
some ricks of corn. Burke thought it would be very 
nice to lie down at the foot of one of them, out of the 
heat of the sun. He proposed it to Chudleigh, who 
made no objection. 

"I managed to bag a bottle of champagne/' 



A WATER PARTY. 237 

said Butler Burke; "and we can drink it quietly under 
these ricks." 

"All right/' replied Chudleigh, by no means dis- 
pleased at the prospect. 

Burke half undid his jacket, which he had buttoned 
up, and showed the bottle to Chudleigh. But as he 
held it up for him to look at, he suddenly started 
back. 

" What is the matter ?" asked Chudleigh, in alarm. 

Butler Burke threw down the bottle, and clasped 
his left hand round the sleeve of his right arm. 

" I've got the beggar !" he exclaimed. " Why, it's 
a beastly wasp ! he's stung me; but I've got him 
I think." 

Burke bared his arm in confirmation of this asser- 
tion, and pulled out a dead wasp which he had crush*], 
revealing at the same time a red spot strongly 
inflamed, and indicative of a severe sting. Butler 
Burke looked round him. There were numerous 
wasps flying about. 

" I think there's a nest/' he said. 

" I'm sure of it," replied Chudleigh. "Let's burn 
them." 

" Burn them !" said Burke, " How ?" 

" Oh, I'll tell you ! I have done it scores of times 
in the country. Haven't you ?" 



238 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" I don't live in the country, you know. I only go 
there now and then." 

"Oh! I see. But I'll tell you." 

" I should like to do it very much," said Burke, " if 
it can be done/' 

" This is how to do it. I never put anything over 
my face any muslin or that. I just get a truss of 
straw or a bundle of hay flax is the best and light it, 
and lay it over the hole; that makes a smoke, and 
smothers all the wasps that come up, and scorches the 
wings of those who are coming home. Of course you 
get a sting now and then, but you don't mind that in 
the fun of taking the nest ; at least, I don't. Then 
I dig up the nest with a spade, always keeping a lot 
of lighted straw over the hole, to scorch their wings 
and keep them off me, and sometimes, in a good nest, 
you will get several pounds of comb." 

"Honey in it?" queried Butler Burke. 

" Honey ! no. You must be an ass. Wasps don't 
have honey," said Chudleigh. 

" How should I know?" replied Burke. " What do 
they have ?" 

" Why, nothing but grubs, things to fish with, 
that's all." 

"Oh!" eaid Butler Burke. 

" Shall we take this one?" asked Chudleigh. 



A WATER PARTY. 239 

"Yes, I vote we do. I'm not afraid of them/' 
answered Burke bravely. 

" Well, then, let us find the hole first," said Chud- 
leigh, proceeding to look for it. 

It was not a very difficult task to discover it, for it 
appeared to be a very strong nest, and numbers of 
wasps were flying about in all directions. 

" Look out," said Chudleigh ; " you will be stung 
again, else." 

Butler Burke retreated to a judicious distance, and 
Chudleigh carefully reconnoitred the spot. 

Joining Burke, he said, 

" It's all right. I have found the hole. But we 
shall want some straw. I have a light in my pocket, 
you know. I smoke, and one of my Vesuvians will do 
capitally to light it with." 

Butler Burke looked wistfully towards the ricks. 
Chudleigh followed his glance, and said, 

" Let us have some of that a handful of straw 
will not be missed out of the rick." 

"No," replied Burke, "I don't think it will." 

They advanced together towards the ricks, climbed 
the paling, and pulled three or four armfuls out of the 
nearest, which turned out to be a rick of wheat. 

"Suppose we have some wine before we begin?" 
suggested Butler Burke. 



240 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"That is just what I was going to propose myself/' 
answered Chudleigh. 

Burke undid the cork and took the first draught 
out of the bottle, then he handed it to his companion. 
School-boys do not stand upon ceremony. This, with 
what they had previously imbibed, made them feel as 
if they could face a legion of wasps. 

Seizing the corn-straw they walked back to the 
wasps' nest, which was not far off. Chudleigh struck 
a light and set fire to the straw directly afterwards, 
throwing it over the hole. A dense smoke arose, which 
was shortly followed by a bright flame. A great num- 
ber of wasps were sacrificed, and those that survived 
and who had instinct enough to know what was going 
on grew very savage. Each boy kept a wisp of straw 
in his hand to defend himself against the attacks of 
vagrant members of the family, into whose territory 
they were carrying fire, if not sword. 

" I say," cried Chudleigh, " we have no spade. 
Well, I know what to do. I will pull up a hedge- 
stake while you go and get a little more straw." 

Burke immediately went off, and presently returned 
with his arms full. Chudleigh, in the meantime, had 
provided himself with a stake. 

"Let us toss up who shall dig them up," said 
Chudleig^ who with some former experiences fresh in 



A WATER PARTY. 241 

liis mind, knew that it was a dangerous thing to 
attack wasps, even with a spade and a little sulphur. 

Burke tossed up a shilling. Chudleigh called 
" Heads !" 

It was head, and Burke seized the hedge-stake. 

Chudleigh lighted a large bundle of straw, and 
handed it to Burke, who advanced to the hole over 
which the straw was still smouldering. He held the 
lighted straw in one hand and the stake in the other. 

"Stick it well in the hole/' cried Chudleigh, 
" and then turn the earth up. If any wasps come 
near you switch them off with the lighted straw you 
have in your hand." 

"All right," said Butler Burke, who advanced 
steadily to the work of destruction. The wasps were 
hovering about in crowds, and before he got to the hole 
he was stung once on the hand and once on the cheek. 
But full of vinous courage, he went on and stuck the 
stake into the ground, whirling the burning straw 
round to keep the venomous insects off. 

But he met with two unexpected disappointments, 
one was, that the smoke, besides blinding the wasps, 
almost choked himself; and the second was, that the 
ground was so hard and tough, that all his efforts did 
not suffice to move it. His straw was burning out. It 
was all they had. With a great effort, Burke succeeded 
16 



242 



ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 



in turning up the earth. A mass of comb fell upon 
the ground, and a number of wasps were liberated. 
There was not enough fire to kill them, and they 
attacked Butler Burke furiously. He did his best to 
keep them at a distance, but he did not succeed very 
well. They even went towards Chudleigh and stung 
him. He ran away to a greater distance, shouting 
to Burke to follow. 

Burke, perfectly mad with the stings he had 
received, rushed he knew not whither. He held the 
burning straw in his hand, but that only partially 
kept them off. Suddenly he backed up against the 
palings which surrounded the ricks. The shock 
jerked the burning straw from his hand, and it fell 
against one of the ricks. Burke sank upon the 
ground quite frantic with pain, and tore up the grass 
with his hands and teeth. 

Chudleigh turned round when he had got to what 
he cousidered a safe distance, and was very much 
alarmed to see a dense smoke arising from one of the 
ricks. For a moment or so he could not make it out. 
Then the truth Hashed across him, and he rushed for- 
ward, but before he could reach the palings, a bright 
flame made its appearance, which speedily increased. 

Chudleigh dashed at the fire, and tried to knock 
it out with his feet, but its dimensions were too formid- 



A WATER PARTY. 243 

able for his feeble efforts. Giving it up in despair, 
he got over the palings, and went up to Butler 
Burke. 

"Get up, Burke!" he exclaimed. "What's the 
row ? The whole place is on fire." 

Butler Burke only moaned. 

Chudleigh dragged him away from the heat of the 
flames, and then gazed at the terrible conflagration in 
a fascinated manner. He could not take his eyes off it. 

" By Jove !" he murmured to himself, " we havo 
got ourselves into a nice row, I'll bet." 

Butler Burke at last sat up on his elbow, and also 
watched the blaze mournfully, but with a great deal 
of interest. If it had been night the spectacle would 
have been magnificent. 

The smoke attracted the attention of the rest of 
Mr. Wynne's party, who quickly rushed towards it 
from all parts. A slight wind was stirring, which 
wafted the flames away from the other ricks, and they 
as yet had not caught fire. 

Mr. Wynne and Wetherall were the first to arrive 
upon the spot. 

" What in Heaven's name is the meaning of this ?" 
he exclaimed, addressing Chudleigh. 

Chudleigh replied with great candour, not in the 
least trying to screen himself, 
162 



244 ETON SCHOOL. DAYS. 

" Butler Burke and myself, sir, tried to take a wasps* 
nest, and I am sorry to say we have set the rick on 
fire. Burke is very much stung, and can hardly 
speak." 

Mr. Wynne made no comment upon this, but 
looked at Wetherall, who said, 

" The ricks belong to me. It is fortunate that 
only one has as yet caught fire. I have placed them 
some distance apart, as you see ; it is theory of mine. 
But let us see what we can do." 

"Yes," replied Mr. Wynne. "This is hardly the 
time for talking." 

" I think," said Wetherall, " if half a dozen boys 
were to bring as many oars from the boats, and push 
the rick on the side which is not yet on fire, they 
might turn it over ; and such a weight falling on the 
flames would perhaps extinguish them, or at any rate 
enable us to save something from the burning." 

" Capital !" cried Mr. Wynne. 

And he instantly started some boys off for the 
requisite number of oars. When they arrived the 
experiment was tried, and it proved eminently suc- 
cessful. 

The burning rick swayed for a time to and fro, and 
at last it fell over on the side which was blazing so 
fiercefy. 



A WATER PARTY. 245 

It fell more easily tnan it would otherwise have 
done, because a great part of it had been consumed, 
and it was comparatively hollow. Had it not been 
so, their efforts would not have been of much use. 

When the rick fell, the boys seized all the sheaves 
of corn which were not smoked or burnt, and took 
them some distance off. The rest, which were alight, 
were beaten down with the oars, and in time the 
mischief caused by Butler Burke was rectified as far 
as possible, and all further apprehension allayed. 

"I really do not know what to say to you, 
Wetherall, about this," said Mr. Wynne, seriously, as 
lie took his arm on their way back to the boats. 
" One of my boys " 

" Don't say a word/' replied Wetherall. " I dare- 
say we can arrange it ourselves. What is the name 
of your firebrand ?" 

Mr. Wynne smiled, and replied, " Burke Butler 
Burke." 

" Very well, then, leave us alone, and we shall 
settle it very amicably I am sure." 

Chudleigh took Burke back to the tent and 
bathed his stings with vinegar, which relieved him 
very much. 

Wetherall sought Burke, and kindly said to him, 

" Don't worry yourself about that little bon- 



246 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

fire. It was an accident, and there is not much harm 
done." 

Butler Burke pressed his hand. He was too ill to 
speak. 

They made Burke a sort of bed at the bottom of 
the boat, and soon afterwards the party returned to 
College. 

Wetherall behaved so well, and in such a gentle- 
manly manner, that every one went back in high 
spirits, and more than one song broke the stillness of 
the night air. 

In a couple of days Butler Burke was well again, 
and the pain of the stings went away. But he made 
a mental resolve that he would never take a wasps' 
nest again as long as he lived. 

Chudleigh often used to come up to him and lay 
hold of him suddenly, exclaiming, 

" I say, old fellow, look out for wasps !" 

Burke would grin feebly, but he evidently did not 
consider it much of a joke. 



247 



CHAPTER XXII. 

BEECH MANOR. 

SUMMER half now drew to a close. Election Saturday 
Lad come and gone, and the boys were preparing for 
the holidays. The Eton and Harrow match had taken 
place, and only the Eton and Westminster Eights 
had to contend together to bring the season to a 
close. 

Burke was much pleased with Eton ; he had got on 
better than he had expected. It is true that he had 
been a little bullied and knocked about, through cir- 
cumstances over which he had no control, rather than 
through his own demerits, but as everything had come 
right in the end he was as happy as the day was long, 
and this was a great thing to have achieved. He had 
the good opinion of his tutor, and he was liked by all 
the boys with whom he was acquainted. 

Butler Burke at last bade adieu, for a brief time, 
to what he had already learnt to call dear old Eton, 
and turned his footsteps homewards. It was arranged 



248 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

that lie should go home for a week first of all, and 
then proceed to Beech Manor, the home of Mrs.Chorley 
and her daughter. 

His family were delighted to see him again, and 
welcomed him most warmly, and they parted with him 
with regret when he left them to proceed to Beech 
Manor. 

Here he was indeed a welcome and a favoured guest. 
The greatest kindness was shown him, and the utmost 
attention paid him ; and he found Constance so good 
and amiable that, boy as he was, he fell deeply and 
hopelessly in love with her. When standing by her 
side in the little village church, and reading out of the 
same book with her, he felt happier than he had ever 
done in his life before. 

One day a drive into the country was proposed, and 
Butler Burke was asked to drive the pony carriage 
which Mrs. Chorley usually went out in in fine weather. 
Burke declared that he should be extremely happy, 
and they started soon after breakfast. 

Burke was not much of a hand at driving, but to 
direct a pony along a country road is not a very 
difficult task. If he had to pass any vehicle that 
took up more room than it ought to, and he 
seemed to hesitate as to how the manoeuvre should 
be accomplished, Constance would laughingly take 



BEECH MANOR. 249 

the reins out of his hand, and surmount the difficulty 
for him. 

" Do you like the country ?" asked Constance of 
Butler Burke. 

" Yes, very much." 

" And driving too ?" 

" With you," he replied gallantly. 

He spoke in a low voice, and Mrs, Chorley did not 
appear to notice this little piece of child love-making. 

" Oh ! you must not," said Constance, turning away 
her eyes. 

"Why not?" he asked. 

" Because it is not proper." 

" What have I said ?" replied Butler Burke, blun- 
dering as only hoys do blunder. 

" There, never mind," said the young lady. " Look 
after your pony's knees, or else you will have mamma 
scolding you." 

Burke raised the whip and lashed his " cattle " 
rather savagely, and they proceeded in silence until 
they reached a rather stiff hill. Then Mrs. Chorley 
dismounted, saying she would walk up. Burke also 
got down, and led the pony. Constance remained 
in the carriage. They had not gone far before a cow 
behind a hedge began to low in a tone of voice that 
suggested hoarseness if not probable congestion of the 



250 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

lungs. The pony took fright at such an unearthly- 
noise, and reared up. 

Burke imprudently struck it on the nose with the 
whip. It then turned round and began to descend 
the hill at a rapid pace. Butler Burke rushed forward, 
put his feet upon the steps of the carriage, calling to 
Miss Chorley to jump, as he did so. She was a 
courageous girl, and did as he told her. Burke was 
balancing himself on the step of the carriage as she 
sprang into his arms. 

The pony was going quickly, Mrs. Chorley was 
screaming, for she knew that Burke had done a fool- 
hardy if a courageous act. Constance threw herself 
into Butler Burke's arms. His intention was to jump 
down and run forwards a little, so as to accommodate 
his descent to the motion of the pony carriage. 

But Constance's weight was so great that he fell 
backwards with her in his arms. Fortunately for 
both of them, the pony had not kept to the middle 
of the road, but had gone nearly to the extreme edge, 
which was covered with a soft turf. 

Butler Burke fell heavily upon this, but he was not 
much hurt. 

There had been some rain the night before, and 
the ground was not hard. 

Constance was more shal'2n than injured. Her 



BEECH MANOR. 251 

mother rushed forward to assist her to her feet, and 
then they turned their attention to Butler Burke. 
He was a little stunned, but he soon came to again. 

The look that Constance bent upon him recom- 
pensed him for all the risk he had run. 

When he had recovered, Mrs. Chorley said, 

" You are quite a hero, Mr. Burke ; I never saw 
anything like it. Why, Constance might have been 
clashed to pieces if it had not been for you." 

At the bottom of the hill they found the pony 
quietly cropping the grass. They got into the carriage 
again and returned to Beech Manor; and Burke 
was transported with delight to see that Constance's 
eyes were now and then fixed upon him, with a 
look of deep devotion, as if she regarded him as 
her deliverer from some great peril. Young birds 
are apt to think more of a look, or a sigh, than old 
bivds who have been through the wood. 

The time Butler Burke spent at Beech Manor 
passed very swiftly and very pleasantly. He had 
saved Constance from a danger. It might have been 
but a slight one, but they endeavoured to magnify the 
service he had done her. Butler Burke was very happy. 
But everything must come to an end sooner or 
later, and with many regrets he took his leave and 
returned to his father's house. 



252 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

" Am I still one of your heroes ?" he ventured to 
ask, as he left Beech Manor. 

" Ah !" replied Constance playfully ; " that will 
depend upon how you behave in future." 

Shaking her hand with genuine feeling, while the 
tears sprang to his eyes, he felt, for the first time in 
his life, the terrible misery of parting, as he uttered 
the words "Good bye I* 



253 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

"PLUCK AND PLAY." 

WHEN Butler Burke returned to school after the 
holidays, he found that he liked Eton better than 
ever. All the places seemed familiar to him. The 
end of September happened to be unusually mild, and 
the boys were allowed to bathe and boat for a week 
or ten days. But after this time these summer luxuries 
were interdicted by a mandate given under the hand 
and seal of the head master, and the amusements 
peculiar to winter usurped their place. The river 
seemed deserted, and hardly anybody ever went near 
the Brocas Meadows. Goodman, and Searle, and 
Tolladay drew up their boats, and covered them over 
with tarpaulin or canvas, and stowed them away in 
their respective sheds; and everything aquatic pre- 
pared to hybernate. Football was the recognised 
game which engrossed everybody's thoughts. 

Butler Burke, of course, was so young, and had been 
at Eton such a little time, that his taking any pro- 



254 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

minent part in his tutor's Elevens was hardly to be 
expected ; but he .looked forward to the game with 
the greatest eagerness and the keenest zest. 

Every public schoolboy likes football, and the Eton 
game I may be forgiven for saying is certainly the 
best that is ever played. Rugby men are loud in their 
praises of their own particular way of playing, and 
their game obtains at the Universities ; but give me, 
for real enjoyment and all-engrossing interest, a 
good game of football at Eton, either at the wall 
or in the open field. 

There are some species of black mail which a school- 
boy has a great aversion to paying, and when a man 
comes round to your room and asks you to put into 
"the window," or some equally obnoxious tax, you very 
naturally kick at the suggestion ; but hardly any one 
objects to pay his football money, which, of course, 
varies at different housee, but which, whatever the 
amount may be, provides you with a capital ball to 
play with, every day well blown and properly looked 
after, and a good glass of beer or hot spiced ale when 
you have finished playing j and if you happen to be 
more than usually thirsty you know that you can have 
" seconds" if you choose. 

Mr. Wynne's house was unusually strong in foot- 
ball players, and his whole House Eleven was reckoned 



PLUCK AND PLAY. 255 

the strongest in College. There were some capital 
players, too, amongst his Lower boys, but the Lower 
boy Eleven lost one of its best men when Chorley left. 

After a little preliminary practice it was found that 
Butler Burke had a promising idea of football. He 
possessed good wind, and was a very good " kick off;" 
and he could " bully " a ball as well as any one. He 
was a little too heavy for " flying man/' but he made 
a decent " side post," and now and then he officiated 
as " corner." When the Lower Boy Eleven was made 
up, much to his surprise and delight, he was chosen 
Second Captain ; and he worked hard to keep up the 
reputation he had won, for football, like everything 
else, requires plenty of practice and assiduity. But 
with Burke it was a labour of love, for he took kindly 
to all athletic exercises. He had joined the fencing 
school, as it was a nice amusement on winter evenings; 
and he fenced so well that Augelo told him he would 
stand a chance of getting the "foils" some day. 
Burke made his room a little better this half. He 
bought some more pictures, and started a squirrel, 
which became a great pet of his. 

Purefoy played at football occasionally, only his 
coming to the Field was the exception not the rule. 
He did not exactly play badly, when he did attempt it, 
but you could see that he did not care much about it. 



256 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

He was evidently making a concession to the prejudices 
of his companions, or taking exercise which he thought 
might be beneficial to his health, for he worked very 
hard, and he knew that too much application was a bad 
thing, and highly injurious and prejudicial. Like all 
slight boys he could run very well, and for that reason, 
though much against his wish and inclination, Turner 
the captain put him in the Lower Boy Eleven. 

" If he does not play well enough we can always 
change him," he said ; "but I 'like men who can run 
and cut about the place. I have seen lots of goals 
taken in that way more than most people would think 
for ; andif the beggar will only leave off sapping for 
a little now and then, I think we shall make some- 
thing of him." 

" Well," replied Butler Burke, to whom the fore- 
going remarks were addressed, " I daresay you know 
best, but I don't think Purefoy is a good sort of man 
to put in. He is my cousin, and I like him very 
much, but he would be better employed in translating 
Hesiod than in playing football." 

" I am not often mistaken," replied Turner ; " but 
if you insist upon it, Burke, we will put him out, and 
stick some other fellow in his place." 

" Not at all ; you are captain of the Eleven," said 
Burke. 



PLUCK AND PLAY. 257 

" Yes, I know ; but I am very glad of your sug- 
gestions. What shall we do ?" 

"You seem to have taken a fancy to him, and so we 
had better keep him/' answered Burke, convinced 
against his will. 

"All right; then his name shall stand. Get the 
fellows down to the Field after twelve, and lick any one 
who shirks, will you ?" said Turner. " I want to get 
the men in good fettle for our match with Joyce's." 

''When do we play them?" asked Butler Burke. 

:e They wish it to be this day week. I said I had 
no objection, and so I suppose it will come off on that 
day." 

" I think we shall lick them," said Burke. 

" So do I," replied Turner; "but I want to keep. 
our men well up to their work." 

Purefoy did not at all like being put in the Eleven, 
and he protested against it, but without avail. He 
was obliged to put the best face he could on the 
matter, and submit. 

At last the day arrived. It was one of the first 
matches of the season. Joyce's were cocks of Col- 
lege, and Wynne's had challenged them. The match 
created a good deal of expectation, and not only the 
boys of the respective houses, but a great many more 
looked out for it, and determined to be present. 
17 



258 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

The ground selected was neutral. Neither house 
had played regularly upon, it before. It was in 
the large meadow past the Mathematical School, and 
leading to Cuckoo Weir. A drizzling rain set in 
early in the morning, which continued till after 
twelve. The ground was wet and sloppy ; but that 
did not diminish the number of spectators, which 
amounted to two or three hundred; for a good Lower 
Boys' match is sure at all times to be an attraction. 

Butler Burke made his appearance in a Jersey, which 
was decidedly "loud;" and some of the lookers-on 
exclaimed, 

"By Jove ! that's a loud shirt playing in Wynne's." 

Turner had got his men into very good order, con- 
sidering the short time they had had for practice ; and 
although some of them were new hands, and had never 
kicked a ball before the beginning of the half, he was 
pretty well satisfied, and pitched the goal sticks with 
assurance, and looking confident of victory. 

Joyce's won the toss, and kicked off. Butler Burke 
very cleverly stopped the ball, and bullying it artisti- 
cally carried it away with considerable activity. By 
dodging a little to the left, he contrived to elude the 
vigilance of the flying man. Every one expected a goal, 
and the spectators cried, 

Well played, Wynne's \" 



PLUCK AND PLAY. 259 

The captain of Joyce's called out to the goal- keeper 
to look out. Turner followed Butler Burke at a short 
distance, in order to back him up should he miss the 
ball. Close behind Turner were a number of boyg 
belonging to both houses. The goal-keeper stood at 
his post like a sentinel on the ramparts when an 
attack is expected. 

When Butler Burke had arrived nearly close 
enough to take, a " cool kick/' the goal-keeper 
rushed forward, and charged him with all his 
force. The ball was stopped, and rolled a little on 
one side. Butler Burke could not resist the impetus 
of the goal-keeper's attack, and falling backwards, fell 
on his back. His adversary received a shin in the 
encounter, the traces of which he would carry for 
some time. The goal-keeper now ran towards the 
ball, and was just about to kick it, when Turner came 
up, and their feet struck the ball simultaneously. 
Turner's kick happened to be the strongest and most 
vigorous, from the force he was going at, and the con- 
sequence was that the ball twisted round, and appeared 
just as if it were going through the goal-sticks. Both 
boys ran after it, and the excitement was intense. 
The ball swerved a little on one side owing to having 
struck a stone, or through some inequality of the 
ground, and passed within an inch of the goal-stick. 
173 



260 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Turner and the goal-keeper now redoubled their exer- 
tions, and at the distance it was impossible to say 
who had the advantage. At last they reached the 
ball, apparently both at the same time. They rolled 
over one another in their desperate efforts to touch it. 
The anxiety of the boys to know who had been suc- 
cessful was intense ; and a shout arose when Turner 
sprang like Antaeus from the ground with the ball in 
his hand, crying, as well as his shortness of breath 
would allow him, 

"A 'ruge,' I touched it !" 

This was an important step in the game, for next 
to a goal, a ruge is the best thing you can have. 
A ruge may lead to a goal, and it was fondly hoped 
that it would in this instance. 

The right leg of the goal-keeper's white flannel 
breeches were stained a little with blood, which 
showed the force with which Butler Burke must have 
encountered him. The two elevens now gathered 
round the goal, and the Captain took up his position 
in front of it at a distance of from a yard to a yard 
and a half from it. His side then formed round him 
according to his directions, until they formed a semi- 
circle, or a kind of horse-shoe. Wynne's then formed 
in their turn, and completed the circle, only leaving 
a small opening for Turner to run in at. The ball 
was placed at the feet of the Captain of Joyce's, and 



FLUCK AND PLAY. 201 

Turner stood a few yards off waiting till every- 
thing was in readiness. 

" Are you ready ? " he said. 

The answer being in the affirmative, he ran in, and 
directly his foot touched the ball a severe struggle 
began. Joyce's tried with all their strength to drive 
the ball away from the goal, while Turner's eleven 
endeavoured to drive it between the sticks. The battle 
was stubbornly contested. 

The two Elevens swayed backwards and forwards 
and the game went on with varying fortune. At one 
moment it seemed as if the ball must go through the 
goal sticks ; at another it very nearly got out of the 
crowd, when some expectant outsider would have 
carried it down the field. Suddenly, Joyce's Eleven 
raised an outcry, and in indignant voices shouted, 

" Shin him, shin him ! he's crawling." 

The boys who were looking on also joined in the cry, 
and " Shin him !" resounded on all sides. 

The boy who had raised this storm was Butler Burke, 
Avho, determined to get a goal if it was to be done by 
human means, had gone down on his hands and knees, 
and had caught the ball between the latter, and was, 
as his adversaries had complained, crawling along with 
it. He received some severe kicks, but in the excite- 
ment of the moment the pain arising from them did 
not inconvenience him ; indeed, it was hardly felt. 



262 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

The Captain of Joyce's saw that if something was not; 
done, Butler Burke, whose legs seemed to be made of 
iron, so little did shinning affect him, would have the ball 
in goals before long; so he threw himself on Burke 
as if he had stumbled over him accidentally, and the 
boys who were backing him up losing their balance, 
fell over him. This sudden declension overthrew the 
equilibrium of Turner's eleven, and they, too, fell. 
Butler Burke was nearly smothered. Every one was 
rolling over every one, and the greatest confusion 
arose. Butler Burke took advantage of this, and with 
a desperate effort drew himself clear of the crowd, 
and making a spring landed himself with the ball still 
between his knees, between the goal sticks. A tre- 
mendous shout arose, and "Well played Wynne's" was 
heard on all sides. The boys rose to their feet and 
looked around them. Turner went up to Burke, who 
was sitting on the ground ruefully examining his 
shins. He was a mass of bruises. Turner patted him 
on the back, and as his side came up one by one and 
congratulated him on his pluck and play, he forgot 
everything in the pride of his triumph. Two or three 
fellows were still gathered round the spot where the 
ruge had taken place. They formed a small knot, and 
others were every moment giving it an accession of 
strength. These spoke to one another in whispers. Butler 
Burke looked up and wondered what was the matter. 



263 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

A BROKEN LEG. 

THE ground around the place where the struggle 
had been hottest was one mass of mud, and as the 
rain had been falling rather heavily all the time, it 
had been churned into a puddle. The forest of 
umbrellas which concealed the hats of the lookers-on 
began to move, and it was evident that something had 
happened. Butler Burke got up and walked to where 
the crowd was collected. Turner was already there. 

" What's the row, Turner ?" Batler Burke asked. 

"'Pon my word, I can't make out. Some fellowhurt, 
though, I'm afraid. That ruge we got was rather hot 
while it lasted.'' 

Burke was excited and alarmed, he hardly knew 
why ; he had a presentiment that something dreadful 
had happened to some friend of his own. Going up to 
the boys who were still crowding round thicker than 
ever, he pulled one by the arm and repeated the question 
he had put to Turner. The answer was short and decisive, 



264 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Some fellow's broke his leg." 

At hearing this, Burke elbowed his way through 
the throng, and by dint of exertion stood in the first 
rank. A cloud of steam arose from the damp shirts 
of the boys, which almost obscured the body of a boy 
which lay upon the wet grass ; he was very quiet and 
still, and motionless. His face was pale, very pale, 
and his mouth twitched a little nervously now and 
then, which showed that he was in pain. Butler 
Burke gazed upon this boy with the keenest interest, 
and suddenly dropping down on one knee, he seized 
his hand and cried in the bitterest accents, " Purefoy I" 

It was indeed Purefoy. 

Turner and the Captain of Joyce's seeing how mat- 
ters stood, determined to send for a stretcher without 
any further delay. Accordingly they spoke to some 
boys who were quick runners, and in a few seconds 
four boys detached themselves from the others, and 
with their elbows set well in at their sides, set off at 
a swift trot in the direction of College. 

Butler Burke was so affected that he could 
not speak. He could only grasp Purefoy's hand, and 
look almost tearfully at the poor pale face before him. 

Turner came through the ring, and said in an 
authoritative voice, 

" Stand on one side there !" And seconded with the 



A BROKEN LEG. 265 

exertions of the Captain of Joyce's, he vigorously 
pushed the spectators on one side, saying, 

" Give the man some air, will you ? Can't you see 
you are stifling him ? " 

The Captain of Joyce's then pulled up one of 
the goal sticks, and by dint of hitting some on the 
shoulders and some on the shins, or wherever he 
best could, he managed to keep the fellows back, 
and give the sufferer what he was very much in need 
of a little 'fresh air. 

" Are you much hurt, Purefoy ? " asked Turner, in 
a voice as tender as any girl's. 

"A good deal, I'm afraid," replied Purefoy, in a 
faint voice. 

"Where is it? " said Turner. 

' ' In my right leg. I'm afraid the bone is broken 
in more than one place." 

Butler Burke, on hearing this, flew into an un- 
governable passion with Turner. 

" Hang you, Turner !" he exclaimed ; " I told you not 
to put him in. If it had not been for you this would 
not have happened." 

Turner, without any notice of Burke's angry re- 
marks, continued his conversation with Purefoy. 
After that Burke relapsed into silence, and a great 
sob, half of sorrow and half of rage, broke from him. 



266 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Keep up your pluck, old fellow !" said Turner ; 
" we will soon take you back to College. Perhaps you 
are not much hurt after all/' 

The boys who were standing round began to indulge 
in stories bearing upon the present case. 

"I remember," said one, ft when Campion broke 
his leg he was awfully ill for a long time, and I think 
he never got over it altogether." 

" You know," said another, " that llobarts was 
always lame after he broke his ; but that was a com- 
pound fracture." 

These remarks were distinctly audible to Butler 
Burke, who, putting Purefoy's hand gently upon the 
ground, rose to his feet and went straight up to the boys 
who were talking together about the dangerous effects 
of breaking one's leg. 

" Shut up !" said Butler Burke, addressing them 
curtly and rudely. 

"Shut up; what for?" 

" Don't you see, you fool, that he will hear you ? " 
replied Burke, between his teeth.. 

" Oh ! I didn't think of that ; very sorry, I am 
sure/' was the answer from the boy, who at once saw 
the force of Butler Burke's objection, and the neces- 
sity for not alarming Purefoy by any dismal account 
of last year's accidents. 



A BROKEN LEG. 267 

After a time, which seemed an age to Burke, the 
four runners were descried returning at a distance. 
It was noticed that they carried something between 
them which, as they approached nearer, was discovered 
to be a window-shutter, or something analogous to it. 
Of course the match was over for that day at least, 
and by common consent most of the fellows were re- 
turning to College. Some, and indeed the majority, 
wanted to see Purefoy taken to his tutor's ; but a few 
had agreed, directly Purefoy had been taken from 
the Field to have a " kick about." 

When the stretcher arrived, Purefoy, who groaned 
a good deal, was carefully lifted on to it. Butler 
Burke, with great care, placed his coat under the 
wounded limb, to make it ride easier, preferring 
to go home through the rain without anything 
on his shoulders rather than his friend should suffer 
any pain when it was in his power to alleviate it. 

Purefoy's cap had fallen off, and his hair was 
wet and dabbled with mud, but the pallor of 
his face was painful to look at. His fortitude was 
exemplary, and Burke thought him heroic. The 
fact was that a numbing sensation had taken pos- 
session of him. Now and then when he was moved 
or jolted a sharp pain would fly through his frame and 
make his face flush and his teeth clench, but this 



268 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

agony was not perpetual, it was only fleeting and re- 
current. Turner volunteered to be one of the bearers, 
and the Captain of Joyce's took his place in front, by 
Turner's side. A boy of good intentions, but who 
appeared hardly strong enough for the occasion, was 
going to take possession of one of the rear corners, 
when Butler Burke pushed him roughly on one side, 
and made the third. 

The fourth had already been supplied by Chud- 
leigh, who had stepped out of the rank of spec- 
tators in order to do what he could. Burke even 
felt jealous of him, and growled savagely like a 
bear, wishing that he was a second Atlas, so that his 
shoulders might be broad enough to bear the whole of 
the burden. 

As the melancholy procession set out it resem- 
bled very nearly an Irish funeral, barring the 
howling inseparable from such occasions, for the 
stretcher was surrounded on all sides by boys. A 
long line stretched away in the distance in front; 
there were boys on* each side, and , the rear was occu- 
pied by fifty or a hundred, walking arm-in-arm, 
discussing the events of the morning, or solitarily 
brooding over the possibility of their own legs being 
broken in some future game. The burden of their 
conversation was 



A BROKEN LEG. 269 

" Wynne's played beastly well. They've beaten 
Joyce's, I suppose, and now they are cocks of College." 

"I don't know about that," would be the reply. 
" I think they will have to play over again. That fel- 
low, Burke, though, got that goal uncommonly well." 

" Yes ; but I would not have been him for some- 
thing : they must have shinned him awfully." 

This very transparent proposition having passed 
without contradiction or argument, the conversation 
would possibly turn into some other channel. 

College was nearly deserted, it was so wet, and 
most fellows were sitting comfortably in their rooms 
over their fires, reading, or taking advantage of a wet 
day to finish a Copy of Verses or knock off a Theme. 
When Purefoy arrived at his tutor's, Mr. 
Wynne was sitting in his Pupil-room, correcting 
fourth form verses. The door of the Pupil-room 
was open, and faced the passage through which the 
sufferer was approaching. Hearing the noise, Mr. 
Wynne looked up, and fixed his eyes wonderingly 
upon the stretcher, and the pallid, motionless form 
upon it. He instantly comprehended the scene at a 
glance ; he had witnessed it before, when he was a 
Colleger. 

In a match at the Wall, a particular friend of 
his had had his leg broken, while bravely trying to 



270 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

keep a ball out of calx, and he had never been able to 
forget the gloomy spectacle of the stretcher as it 
ascended the College stairs in Lower School Passage 
and stood at the entrance to Long Chamber. 

Mr. Wynne got hurriedly down from his desk, 
strode along the Pupil-room floor, and met Purefoy 
as he was borne into the house. 

" What's all this, and who is it ?" he asked, quietly, 
addressing Turner. 

But before the latter could reply, Butler Burke 
said impetuously, 

" Purefoy, sir, who has had his leg broken in our 
Lower Boy match with Joyce's, to-day." 

" Take him up to his room at once ; I will fol- 
low you in a second," answered Mr. Wynne, who 
walked to the butler's pantry, and said to the under- 
footman, " Run up to Mr. Ellison's as quickly as you 
can, and tell him to bring splints with him, and 
everything necessary for a broken leg. Lose no 
time, and if you should see a fly, take it. If Mr. 
Ellison is not in, go to Mr. Soley's; but bring some 
one with you." 

The man put on his cap, ana instantly started off 
on his errand. 

When Mr. Wynne got upstairs he found that 
the boys had carefully lifted Purefoy off the stretcher, 



A BROKEN LEG. 271 

and laid him on his bed. Mr. Wynne ordered all 
the boys out of the room except the four who had 
brought him back to College, and then going to 
the bedside, spoke to him. But no answer was 
returned : Purefoy had fainted. Mr. Wynne sent for 
some brandy, which Mrs. Wynne brought up herself. 

" Poor boy!" she said ; " I am indeed sorry. Pure- 
foy, too, of all others. I thought he was not fond of 
anything athletic : he is not strong enough to play 
with you strong boys/' 

" I told them so," said Burke, crying with vexation. 

Mr. Wynne poured a little of the spirit down 
Purefoy's throat, and in a short time he opened his 
eyes, but appeared too ill to speak or answer any ques- 
tions ; so Mr. Wynne delicately requested Turner and 
Chudleigh and the Captain of Joyce's to leave the 
room, saying that his cousin would be good enough to 
do any little thing that might be wanted; and after 
thanking them for their kindness, he added that he 
would not keep them from their companions any 
longer. They took the hint given them so politely, 
and left the room, after bowing to Mrs. Wynne. 
Butler Burke looked up gratefully to his tutor for 
allowing him the privilege of being near his cousin. 
When the doctor came, he made a careful examina- 
tion of the broken leg. 



272 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

"While this was going on, Butler Burke thought he 
had never felt so anxious in his life before. Would 
his unfortunate cousin he a cripple for life, he won- 
dered. 

"Well, Ellison," said Mr. Wynne; "what do you 
make of it?" 

" Only a common fracture, I am happy to say/' 
replied the doctor. " I was afraid, at first, that the 
limb was broken in two places, but I find, on exami- 
nation, that there is only a simple fracture in one. I 
will splinter the leg up at once, I think ; and I will 
answer for it that in six weeks he will be as strong 
and as well as ever." 

"Hurrah!" said Burke, oblivious of his tutor's 
presence, <e By Jove ! Hurrah I'* 



273 



CHAPTER XXV. 

H. E. H. 

PDKEFOY'S recovery was as speedy as the doctor had 
predicted. During his confinement to the house, 
Butler Burke spent a great part of his time with him, 
and Purefoy, when his cousin was not with him, pur- 
sued his studies to his own satisfaction. Those who 
were also competitors for the " Newcastle" rather re- 
joiced at Purefoy's illness, as they thought that it 
lessened his chance ; but they did not know his in- 
domitable courage, his perseverance, or his power of 
application. Butler Burke had become very friendly 
with the Earl of Horsham since his Lordship had 
backed him up in his fight with Chorley. They often 
went out together; and they had agreed to have a 
boat together at Goodman's next summer half, which 
was a great proof of friendship. Now Purefoy was so 
ill, Burke was more with Horsham than ever, for he 
had sometimes formerly accompanied his cousin in 
IS 



274 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

his country rambles. One day at absence, the Eatl 
of Horsham said to Burke 

" "What are you going to do after four ; this 19 
a whole holiday, you know ?" 

" Yes, it is," replied Burke. 

" And short church, too," added Horsham. 

" That's jolly!" 

" Well, so it is. I hate long church." 

" What are you going to do, though ?" 

" Nothing particular," replied Burke ; " i you are 
going anywhere, I am your man." 

" The fact is," said Horsham, " I have been asked 
up to the Castle this afternoon, and I was asked to 
bring any fellow I liked with me." 

" Oh ! indeed," said Burke. 

" So," Horsham continued, " if you would like to 
come I shall be glad to take you." 

" You are very kind, old fellow. I should like it 
excessively. How shall you go ?" 

" Oh ! just as I am," replied the Earl of Horsham. 

" I mean shall you put on a coloured tie?" 

" No, I think not. I don't see why one should ; 
and yet I don't know, perhaps it would be better; a 
white tie looks so like a flunkey. It would be sure 
to make Wales laugh." 

" All right, then ; we will both change. Shall I 



H. R. n. 275 

come to your tutor's, or will you come to mine?" 
said Burke. 

"You come to mine, there's a good fellow, and 
then we can buckle-to and walk up town together." 

Butler Burke agreed to this ; and after chapel he 
went to his tutor's, and put a coloured tie and a 
collar in his pocket, and went to his friend Horsham's 
room. Horsham was already dressed, and waiting for 
him. 

"Come along; let me give you a hand," he said. 
" No, thanks," replied Burke, " I can manage." 
They both wore Eton blue neckties, confined by a 
ring. When they arrived opposite the Christopher, 
Horsham said 

" Come into the X and have a glass of sherry, will 
you?" 

Butler Burke made 110 objection ; and after looking 
round to see that no master was watching them, they 
passed under the portico and entered the bar. The 
urbane young lady who officiated as barmaid shook 
her glossy ringlets as she recognised his Lordship, 
who was a frequent customer of theirs, and with her 
countenance wreathed in smiles, took down a bottle, 
and with the grace of Hebe, gave them the wine they 
asked for. After drinking it, they resumed their 
walk, and in time reached the Castle. Horsham, 

182 



276 ETOX SCHOOL DAYS. 

whose mother was one of the ladies-in-waiting on her 
Majesty, conducted Burke straight to the entrance 
to the private apartments, when they were instantly 
admitted. The servant who opened the door told his 
Lordship that the Countess of Horsham had gone 
out in a carriage with the Queen, but that her 
Ladyship had left a message to the effect that if he 
would go into the garden he would find the young 
Princes either on the terrace or on the slopes. The 
Countess, the man added, would most likely return 
in about half an hour. Horsham, followed by Butler 
Burke, made his way to the terrace, and in the parterre 
where the band plays on Sunday, they saw the Prince 
of Wales and Prince Alfred. They were standing 
near the fountain, talking together. Butler Burke 
knew the Prince of Wales well enough by sight, for 
he had often seen him drive through College ; and 
besides that, his Royal Highness had attended the 
lectures which were given in the Mathematical School. 
Horsham and Butler Burke walked up to the Princes. 
The former was acquainted with them, as he had often 
seen them before; but, of course, Burke was not. 
The Princes saw them coming, but did not advance 
to meet them. 

" How do you do?" said the Prince of Wales, lean- 
ing against a statue, and holding out his hand to 



Horsham. His brother did the same thing, only his 
greeting was a little warmer. The Princes both looked 
at Burke, which Horsham perceiving 1 , exclaimed 

" My friend, Mr. Butler Burke ; the Prince of 
Wales, Prince Alfred." 

Butler Burke bowed. 

The Prince of Wales gave him a nod, but Prince 
Alfred held out his hand and said 

" How are you ? Glad to see you at the Castle/' 

" I know which I shall like best," thought Butler 
Burke. 

"Well, Horsham," said the Prince of Wales, "have 
you been flogged lately ?" 

" Not very lately. Have you ?" replied Horsham. 

Prince Alfred smiled. Wales made no answer, but 
looked superciliously at his guest. 

" The Queen has gone out, I think," said Hor- 
sham. 

" Yes," replied H. 11. H., " I believe she has. She 
has not gone far, though. I think she will be home 
i;oon." 

The boys then walked about the grounds, strolling 
carelessly along until they reached the battlements 
and stood by one of the small cannon on the terrace 
looking over the broad expanse of the Home Park. 

"I have got such a splendid horse!" .said the 



278 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

Prince of Wales. " Would you like to come to the 
stables and have a look at him ?" 

Both Horsham and Burke expressed their willing- 
ness to do so, but as they were going along, the 
Princes said rather suddenly 

" If you will give us your hats, we will take them 
into the Castle and get them brushed for you." 

Neither Horsham nor Butler Burke expected any- 
thing, and they gave up their hats. Horsham took 
his off and gave it to the Prince of Wales, and Butler 
Burke gave his to Prince Alfred. When the Princes 
had possession of the hats, they said 

" Wait here a minute or two, and we will bring 
them back to you." 

Both the boys thought it was an odd thing to do, 
but they said nothing. Presently they heard a loud, 
ringing laugh, and saw the Princes kicking their hats 
gaily along the terrace. 

" By Jove ! that's too bad. That's going a little too 
far !" cried Horsham, in a rage. 

Butler Burke felt annoyed, but he did not lose his 
temper; he only laughed. The Prince of Wales 
seemed to enjoy the joke amazingly, every now and 
then he took up the Earl of Horsham's hat in his 
hands, and gave it a flying kick up in the air, catch- 
ing it again on his foot as it descended. Horsham. 



H. R. ii. 279 

got redder in the face every moment. At last he 
started off at a run after his Royal Highness. The 
Prince, who heard him coming, gave the hat one 
parting kick and endeavoured to escape into the Castle 
through an open door. But the Earl of Horsham 
was a little too quick for him. He followed him 
closely, and just as he reached the threshold Horsham 
overtook him, and in his turn succeeded in knocking 
the Prince's hat off. His Royal Highness redoubled 
his exertions to get away, which he succeeded in 
doing; and as he entered the Castle, he slammed the 
door behind him in Hoi-sham's face. Prince Alfred 
finding his exit cut off, picked up Butler Burke : s hat, 
and taking it to him, said 

"I only did it for fun, you know." 

Burke smiled and said 

" All right. You see it's not a bad hat. It has 
stood it pretty well." 

Horsham picked up the Prince of Wales's hat, and 
rejoined them. Prince Alfred said 

"You just caught Bertie beautifully. I thought 
at first you wouldn't." 

"Did you hurt him?" asked Burke. 

" I don't think so," replied Horsham. " I knocked 
his hat off, and serve him right too. Why should he 
kick mine about more than anybody else. If any 



280 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

fellow had done it in College, and I could lick him, 
why, you may take my word for it, I would." 

" Well, we are not going to fight over it, are we ?" 
asked Prince Alfred; and looking up at Burke, he 
added u If you want to quarrel with me, I am quite 
ready, you know. Only, as I said before, I only did 
it in fun." 

Burke held out his hand and said 

" I am not a bit angry about it now. I was at 
first, but you were so jolly over it, that it doesn't 
matter a bit. In fact, I think Horsham was a little 
too hasty/' 

" Not a bit/' replied Honsham. " I don't see it." 

Prince Alfred shook Burke's proffered hand, and said, 

" Then we are friendly again." 

Perfectly so," replied Butler Burke. 

Suddenly Horsham exclaimed, 

" Here's the Queen !" 

Her Majesty advanced towards the three boys. She 
had left the Castle through the door the Prince had 
just gone through. Wales did not appear. The Earl 
of Horsham and Butler Burke went to meet the 
Queen, and taking off their hats, made a low bow. 
It was not etiquette to speak to royalty until they 
were first spoken to, so they waited until her Majesty 
addressed them. 



ii. R. ii. 281 

" We arc glad to see you, Lord Horsham, and your 
friend," the Queen said, kindly ; " but I am sorry 
to hear that the Prince of Wales behaved so rudely to 
you. It will give you a poor idea, I am afraid, of 
regal hospitality." 

" I am afraid, your Majesty, that I have been very 
hasty," said Lord Horsham, looking down upon the 
ground. 

" Not at all," replied the Queen. " Do not apolo- 
gize ; the Prince ought to do so to you. We are not 
at all sorry you took the law into your own hands. 
The Prince will learn that he cannot do as he likes, 
simply because he is Prince of Wales." 

" Your Majesty is very kind to say so," answered 
Horsham, raising his eyes once more. 

" And did you, sir, rebuke Prince Alfred in the 
same ready manner ?" said the Queen, addressing 
Butler Burke. 

" No, your Majesty. The Prince and myself are 
excellent friends, I am happy to say," replied Butler 
Burke. 

" I told him I only did it for fun," exclaimed Prince 
Alfred, deprecatingly. 

The Queen smiled, and said 

"Will your friend and yourself come into the 
Castle, my Lord ? I should like to see you reconciled 



282 ETON' SCHOOL DAYS. 

to his Eoyal Highness before you leave. The Countess 
will no doubt be glad to see you." 

The boys bowed, and followed the Queen, who took 
Prince Alfred's hand, and led the way into the Castle. 
The small door led them into a handsomely-furnished 
chamber. The Prince of Wales was sitting in an arm- 
chair, but he rose as the parly entered with a smile 
upon his face. 

" Come here, Prince," said the Queen, addressing 
him, "and make it up with your young friend." 

Wales walked up to Horsham, laughingly; but 
Horsham sprang forward, and exclaimed with a grace 
peculiar to him 

" Can you forgive my hastiness ? You must con- 
fess you provoked rne." 

The Prince could not help laughing aloud, and he 
replied 

" I was very much in the wrong, but I hope you 
wont say anything more about it ; and the next time 
we fall out about anything, I hope you will not rim 
so quickly as you did to-day." 

"That is right," said the Queen. "Now we will 
leave you to talk it over amongst yourselves. Your 
mother shall be told that you are here, Lord 
Horsham." 

And the Queen left the apartment. 



ii. R. ii. 283 

" Here's your hat, Prince !" exclaimed Horsham - r 
" you see I have used it a little better than you did 
mine." 

" Oh ! I did not mean anything ; you know it was 
only fun," replied his Royal Highness, good-naturedly. 
" You don't mind, do you ?" 

Horsham assured the Prince, with great cordiality, 
that he had ceased to think about the matter ; and 
they conversed very amicably until the Countess of 
Horsham came into the room. 

When the Countess entered she shook hands with 
her son, who introduced Butler Burke. A servant 
almost at the same moment brought some champagne, 
which the boys drank with considerable satisfaction, 
for champagne is the natural beverage of an Etonian. 
After that the Princes wished their guests good-bye, 
expressing a hope that they might see them again, 
and retired. 

" What have you been doing, Horsham ?" exclaimed 
his mother. "Some story is already all over the 
Castle. The Duchess of Batholl came into my apart- 
ments a moment ago, and gave me a confused account 
of some fracas between yourself and the Prince. It 
is very odd you must bring your schoolboy habits 
with you wherever you go." 

The Countess looked very much annoyed ; but when 



284 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

she heard her son's account of everything that had 
taken place, and how it all ended, with what the 
Queen herself had said, she was satisfied ; and the boys 
returned to College in time for lock-up. 



285 



CHAPTER XXVI. 



NEITHER Butler Burke nor the Earl of Horsham talked 
much about their adventure at the Castle. They did 
not think it would be either delicate or proper to do so. 
Burke certainly told his cousin, who was much amused, 
and Purefoy laughed heartily at the recital, for the 
first time since he broke his leg. 

"Licking Princes is certainly a new way of passing 
one's time/' said Purefoy. " But Albert Edward did 
not behave badly, after all. Horsham is about his 
size ; so that if they had decided their quarrel with 
their fists, as you did yours with Chorley, the contest 
would have been an equal one ; but of coui-se such a 
thing was out of the question." 

" Do you know, I don't like the name of Albert," 
said Butler Burke. "I hope they will call the Prince 
Edward the Seventh when he ascends the throne. It 
would be so jolly to have an Edward the Seventh ; 
and all the Edwards have been good fellows." 



286 ETON' SCHOOL DAYS. 

Butler Burke, after he had finished his conversation 
^vith his cousin, went into the school-yard. He was 
just in time to see the men who were in sixth form 
going into Upper-school to speeches. The dress they 
wore was peculiar. They were in evening dress, hut 
they wore knee-breeches and silk stockings, with old- 
fashioned buckle-shoes. One boy, especially, attracted 
Butler Burke's attention. He was a Colleger, or 
what the Oppidans generally denominate a " Tug." 
The etymon of this word is wrapped in oblivion ; but 
as the word in its entirety is Tug-mutton, perhaps a 
scarcity of provisions, once upon a time in College, 
gave rise to the nickname. This^ hypothesis is 
strengthened by the fact of mutton being, according 
to popular rumour, the provender which is usually set 
upon the tables of Hall. The part of the College 
inhabited by the Collegers, or those boys en the foun- 
dation, is called Tuggery. The boy in question was a 
big, thickset boy, or rather young man, with rather a 
shaggy head of hair. One of his stockings had fallen 
down a little, and was consequently in creases. This 
had attracted Burke's notice in 'the first instance. 
Looking up he perceived that the wearer was a man 
with whose face he was acquainted. His name was 
Dacres, but he had acquired the appellation of 
" Ravenous ;" why or wherefore, it would be useless 



A COLLEGE HIDING. 287 

to discuss, as the name itself is sufficiently suggestive. 
In the annual matches of Collegers and Oppidans, 
tl Ravenous " was greatly chaffed. It was considered 
great fun to say, " R, R, R, avenous," laying a stress 
upon the first letter ; and, on the present occasion, 
Butler Burke indulged in that innocent amusement. 
When Burke began, others who were standing by took 
iip the chorus, and " Ravenous" resounded on all 
sides. 

Dacres looked very angrily at Butler Burke, 
but to stop and thrash him then was out of the 
question, so he passed on, walking as quickly as he 
could to avoid the persecution. 

"You wont have any pudding to-day, Ravenous, 
if you don't speak well," said Butler Burke. In return, 
for which piece of facetiousness he received a look 
which, gorgon-like, ought to have frozen him. But 
he took no notice of it, and before speeches were over 
forgot all about it. 

He was afterwards loitering about the school-yard, 
looking at the fellows who were playing fives, when 
he was suddenly seized by a couple of Collegers, and 
dragged towards Lower School-passage. Some boys 
who were standing about witnessed this abduction, as 
it may be called, and followed wonderingly. 

Butler Burke struggled fiercely with his captors, 



288 ETON* SCHOOL DAYS. 

but without avail. One of them was Dacres. As 
Burke looked up and recognised him, he knew that 
he was " in for it" He exerted all his strength, and 
succeeded in tearing the Tugs' gowns from their backs, 
but they picked them up again, threw them on their 
arms, and steadily pursued their way. Butler Burke 
bit their arms and kicked their legs, but without im 
proving his position in the slightest degree. At last 
they entered Lower School-passage, and here Burke 
lay down on the flags, refusing to move another step, 
but the superior strength of Dacres and his friend 
soon showed him the folly and uselessuess of resisting, 
and he was dragged along till they came to the stair- 
case, up which he was bodily carried. A crowd of 
Lower boys stood at the bottom watching the strange 
scene. Great indignation was expressed at the idea 
of Collegers taking an Oppidan by force of arms into 
Tuggery ; but the Oppidans were powerless to prevent 
it. When Ravenous got his victim upstairs, he opened 
the door of Long Chamber, and ordered all the boys 
away who happened to be in it. Then he closed the 
door and sat down upon a bed. All this time his 
friend held Butler Burke securely. 
" Bring him here/' said Dacrcs. 
Burke was accordingly brought to him, and he said, 
" You called me Ravenous. Now I object to be 
called Ravenous." 



A COLLEGE HIDING. 289 

" I didn't mean anything/' said Burke. " It was 
only chaff." 

" I don't care for that ; I am determined to put a 
stop to it," replied Dacres. 

Butler Burke regarded him as much as to say 

" I doubt very much if you can." 

" Did you ever hear of a College hiding?" said 
Dacres. 

Burke admitted that he had. 

" Very well, then j that is exactly what I am going 
to give you." 

Burke wished himself at the bottom of the sea ; but 
what could he do ? 

" You may leave go of him now," said Dacres, ad- 
dressing his friend ; " he can't get away." 

Going to a corner of the room he produced a stick 
about as thick as his little linger. When Butler 
Burke felt himself free, although he knew his liberty 
was only to be of short duration, and although he was 
fully aware that it depended upon the pleasure of the 
two Collegers, he determined to make an effort to 
save himself from the threatened castigation. With 
the rapidity of thought he rushed to one of the win- 
dows looking into Weston's yard, and dashing his 
elbow through it, sent the glass Hying in all direc- 
tions. There were several oppidans standing in the 
19 



290 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

yard; and those who were congregated in Lower 
School-passage ran out on hearing the falling glass. 

" Help !" cried Burke ; " come up into Long 
Chamber ! Ravenous is going to lick me !" 

Two fellows happened to be passing by, one of 
whom was Lascelles, who recognised Burke' s voice. 

" Lascelles ! Lascelles \" cried Burke ; " come and 
rescue me ! Ravenous is going to lick me \" 

Dacres rushed after Burke when he saw him make 
for the window ; but so rapid were Burke's movements, 
that he could not succeed in dragging him away from 
the window until he had fully aroused the attention 
of those below. Lascelles saw him taken away from 
the window, and he said to his friend 

"Make haste, the Tugs are going to thrash an 
oppidan. "Will you come up and see what we can 
do to prevent it?" 

His friend, who had been Captain of the Eleven 
last summer half, and was very intimate with Las- 
celles, expressed his willingness ; and Lascelles said to 
the Lower boys who were standing round 

" The Tugs are licking an oppidan suppose we go 
and lick them 1" 

Followed by about forty boys of all sizes, Lascelles 
led the way up the staircase, and paused before the 
entrance to Long Chamber. The door was closed, and 



A COLLEGE HIDING. 291 

Lascelles tried in vain to open it. The oppidans 
could hear the stick descending on Butler Eurico's 
shoulders, and the sound excited them to exertion. 
Lascelles put his back against the wall, then raised 
his foot, and charged the door with all his force. The 
lock gave way, and the oppidans rushed into the room. 
Going straight up to Ravenous, Lascelles with one 
blow of his fist knocked him down, and laid him at the 
feet of the boy he was thrashing. When he got up, 
he knocked him down again. As he rose to his feet a 
third time, he looked stupidly around him. Lascelles* 
way of treating him was the only sort of argumcntum 
j.d Jtomine-iii which he was able to understand. 

" Have you had enough ?" said Lascelles. 

.Dacres made no answer. Lascelles picked up the 
stick, and said to Butler Burke 

" Now you leather him ;'*' at the same time giving 
him the weapon. 

Lascelles seized Ravenous by the collar of his coat, 
and held him while Butler Burke hit him as hard as 
he was able. The partial thrashing which he had 
himself received only made him the more anxious for 
revenge on Ravenous. 

" Lam into him !" said Lascelles. 

At last Burke gave out from sheer exhaustion ; and 
throwing down the stick, said 
192 



292 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

" I can't give him any more." 

Just at this moment a noise was heard outside 
Long Chamber, and, turning round, Lascelles per- 
ceived a number of Collegers without their gowns. 

" By Jove !" he muttered, " we are in for a row, 
Kun downstairs, you fellows," he cried, addressing the 
little fellows who stood near, " and tell all the big 
fellows you meet that there is a row in Tuggery. Tell 
them to come up. Go to the door in a body, and 
some of you will get down. You are not afraid of a 
few Tugs I should think." 

Thus exhorted, the boys went towards the door. 
The assembled Tugs greeted them with kicks and blows, 
and a struggle began. Some of the oppidans got 
away, and succeeded in reaching Lower School-pas- 
sage. These told the news to every one they met, 
and soon a crowd was flocking into Lower School- 
passage, on their way to Long Chamber. Lascelles- 
and the Captain of the Eleven had their work cut 
out for them. When reinforcements of oppidans ar- 
rived, they cut their way through the Collegers who 
lined the stairs, and joined Lascelles and his friend, 
who were getting roughly handled. A general fight 
now took place, and with varying success. The 
Collegers kept pouring in from the long galleries 
in swarms, and the oppidans were out-numbered. 



A COLLEGE HIDING. 293 

Laseelles told his friends to keep close together ; and 
the oppidans retreated in a body. Laseelles was very 
careful not to leave a single oppidan behind. By 
dint of great exertions the oppidans reached the top 
of the staircase. Ravenous did not take any part in 
the fight. The blows he had received had quieted 
him effectually. Just as Laseelles began to descend 
the staircase, a voice, the sound of which all knew, 
exclaimed 

" Silence !" 

It was heard above the clamour, and had a magical 
effect. 



294 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

WINDSOR FAIK. 

"No wonder that clear, ringing voice had a magical 
effect, for it was the voice of the Head Master of 
Eton. The Doctor had no occasion to repeat his com- 
mand. Addressing the oppidans, he said 

" Follow me. Come upstairs again. I must inves- 
tigate this." 

He pushed his way through the crowd of boys, who 
made way for him, and entered Long Chamber. The 
Collegers followed him as well as the oppidans, and 
the room was soon as full as it conveniently could be. 
Lascelles was the first who was examined. He told 
his tale plainly and briefly. Dacres also told his 
version of the story. Then Butler Burke was sent 
for. As he heard his name called, he made his way 
to the front, and told the Head Master what he had 
done to provoke Dacres, and how he had been dragged 
into Long Chamber. 

The Doctor then went to the top of the stairs, 



WINDSOR FAIR. 295 

without saying a word. "When he arrived there, he 
exclaimed 

" Pass down !" 

And taking out his pocket-book, he demanded every 
name, and entered it as the boy went downstairs, 
Baying, as he did so 

" Wait in the school-yard I" 

After every one had descended, the Doctor followed 
the last boy down the stairs and went into the school- 
yard, where the recent combatants were awaiting his 
arrival. The oppidans were standing by themselves, 
talking the matter over excitedly. Lascelles and 
Butler Burke were great lions. The Collegers were 
also congregated together. 

When the Doctor appeared, the voices were hushed, 
and the rival houses of Capulet and Montague listened 
to a short speech with which the Doctor treated 
them. 

<( You have been guilty of a disgraceful riot," he 
said, "and one that I cannot pass over without 
punishment. Do you suppose for one moment that I 
can tolerate the College being turned into a bear- 
garden ? 1 consider that you oppidans have behaved 
as badly as the Collegers. I see no distinction be- 
tween you ; nor shall I make any allowance for one 
side in preference to the other in giving the punish- 



296 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

ment I am about to award. Every boy whose name 
I have put down in my book will bring me a hundred 
lines of Homer, carefully written out, every day at one 
o'clock, until I suspend the order. Now go ; and if I 
hear any more of such unseemly proceedings, I shall 
most certainly flog the offenders, even if the whole 
school should be engaged in it. Now go." 

The Collegers and oppidans received this addre>s 
in sullen silence, and the Collegers returned to their 
rooms, leaving the oppidans in possession of the 
school-yard. Then there was a proposal to break the 
windows of Long Chamber, as soon as the Head 
Master had been seen to enter his house once more. 
The idea flew about like wildfire. Stones were seized, 
a volley was thrown, and then another, and another ; 
and in five minutes not a pane of glass remained to 
keep the wind out. Then the oppidans retired in 
triumph to their houses. After a week the punish- 
ment was remitted, as far as the Collegers were con- 
cerned, but it was continued to the oppidans, because 
they had broken the windows of Long Chamber; but 
after the lapse of a fortnight the Doctor suspended it 
for the oppidans also. But he declared solemnly that 
if any more disturbances took place, he would flog the 
offenders. Dacres did not consider it prudent to 
meddle any further with Butler Burke, and that young 



WINDSOR FAIR. 297 

gentleman carefully avoided the spot where Tugs most 
do congregate, and so the matter stood for some 
weeks. 

It was about the middle of football half, and Wind- 
sor Fair was at that time a great attraction to those 
boys who were not afraid of being switched if caught 
out of bounds. It generally happened that the most 
adventurous escaped detection, whilst those who went 
with fear and trembling were infallibly the prey of 
some master wandering about like an unclean beast in 
search of something to devour. 

The timid boy, excited by the tales of his friends 
respecting the manliness of the thing and the glories 
of the fair, Avould perhaps thread its mazy intricacies 
for a short time, while his heart was palpitating too 
painfully for him to enjoy himself. Prompted by a 
demon that only addressed him in order to induce him 
to destroy himself, he would perhaps purchase six- 
pennyworth of crackers ; or, thinking the investment 
too large, and consequently too dangerous, he would, 
with innate modesty, point to a mass, arranged pic- 
turesquely and temptingly upon a table, and demand 
its market value. On receiving a response to the effect 
that its equivalent in current coin of the realm was 
exactly " tuppence," the coveted fireworks would 
transfer themselves, or be transferred by a species of 



298 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

sleight-of-hand, to the pocket of the purchaser. Pre- 
sently one would probably be thrown furtively at an 
unprotected lamp-post. The explosion of the projectile 
would of course add infinitely to the anxiety of the 
projector, and his dismay be completed when the hand 
of a master, irrespective of persons, falls lightly on his 
shoulders, and an inexorable voice exclaims, in tones 
that go direct to the most sensitive part of the human 
frame 

" "What's your name, you boy ?" " Very well ; 
go back to College." 

But the end is not yet. 

Butler Burke determined to go up to the fair, and 
he proceeded as far as the Town Hall with the most 
perfect security. Under the Colonnade he halted to 
investigate the contents of the stalls of itinerant 
traders ; and after paying a couple of pennies to see 
the Georgian Giantess, who lived in a caravan in the 
market-place, he ran round to Bachelor's Acre, and 
having a little money in his pocket, indulged in the 
puerile pastime of throwing sticks at cocoa-nuts stuck 
on the ends of long poles. When satiated with his 
ill-luck, he turned round and went a short distance 
further. 

" Roulette, my lord, and no peelers !" exclaimed u 
man at his elbow. 

Burke hesitated a moment, but only a moment, and 



WINDSOR FAIR. 299 

entered the booth. For a short time he was a passive 
spectator ; for, struck with the novelty of the scene, 
his eyes wandered restlessly around the tent. In the 
centre there was an ordinary roulette-table, around 
which were grouped five or six Eton boys, and perhaps 
as many townspeople. They were not speculating 
largely, for pennies seemed the utmost they chose to 
risk and fortunately for them, as they almost inva- 
riably lost. In time, Butler Burke turned from sur- 
rounding objects to the table, on which bis eyes soon 
became riveted : for ten minutes he carefully watched 
the game. 

" You gets hequal on white and red, and twelve 
times your stakes on the Prince o' Wales's feathers," 
said the man, supposed to be the croupier of this 
miniature hell. " Make your game, gents, make your 
game, and no reservation." 

The revolving index had spun round thirty times 
without touching the Prince of Wales's feathers, which 
circumstance struck Burke forcibly; and having thirty 
shillings in his pocket, he determined to risk it. He 
first put a penny on the feathers. 

" lied I" exclaimed the croupier. 

He then risked twopence with a similar result ; this 
he doubled, and was again unsuccessful; then he 
doubled that, and losing a fourth time, he doubled 



300 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

again; but ho lost for the fifth time. Burke was 
playing scientifically, and he was not to be deterred 
from continuing by losing ; he therefore put down five 
shillings and fourpence, which was carefully gathered 
up by the man at the wheel as he cried 

" White wins ; the rest is nowhere !" 

This loss necessitated the display of ten shillings 
and eightpence, which sum was soon displayed upon 
the board. The other people were so interested in 
Burke's attempt to break the bank, that they desisted 
from playing, and became spectators. 

Swiftly, at first, the index moved round, gradually 
decreasing in intensity, until its slowness became 
painful. The excitement was very great, for they 
were all persons accustomed to deal with small sums 
of money, and Butler Burke stood to win twelve times 
his stakes, which would amount to exactly (ten shil- 
lings and eightpence multiplied by twelve) six pounds 
eight shillings. 

Burke looked on carelessly, as if he was supremely 
indifferent to the result, although he very well knew 
it to be his last effort, as the state of his exchequer 
would not permit him to venture again. 

Slowly, slowly, the machine goes round, indolently 
wavering over the feathers; then gliding round to 
rouge, sweeping over white, and hesitating again 



WINDSOR FAIR. 30Z 

in the region of the feathers. At last, as if with a 
desperate struggle, it drags its slow length along, and 
nods benignantly over the pictorial representation of 
the Prince of Wales' s insignia, where it finally comes 
to an anchor. 

"Fll thank you for my money," said Burke to 
the croupier, who appeared slightly concerned at his 
loss. 

But that individual, after giving a peculiar whistle, 
which was evidently a signal to his accomplice outside, 
replied 

" Give us time to count your fortun', guv'nor." 

Whilst pretending to fumhle in a little bag, which 
seemed to be the receptacle of his illicit gains, his 
friend of the doorway rushed in, crying 

" Police ! police !" And he held up the canvass at 
one side for the people to go out at, of which mode of 
egress most of them availed themselves. 

Burke, indignant at being choused out of his win- 
nings by such a barefaced subterfuge, saw that main 
force would be useless, and had recourse In cunning; 
so he appeared to be in great consternation, and ran 
about the booth as if looking for a hole to crawl out 
at. When he had contrived to get directly behind 
the croupier, he said 

" How am I to get out ?" 



302 ETON SCHOOL. DAYS. 

" 'Ere ! I'll let you out/' replied the man, putting 
down his bag, and lifting up the canvass. 

Springing up from the crouching position he had 
assumed, to delude the man into the belief that he was 
going to avail himself of the egress he offered him, 
Butler Burke seized the bag of money and leaped 
like a deer over the table. "Without hesitating an in- 
stant, he charged the man at the door, who, from the 
impetuosity of the attack, which was more effectual 
on account of its unexpectedness, recoiled, allowing 
Burke to escape with the plunder. Once out of the 
booth, he ran at the top of his speed until he got 
into the market-place, where he mingled in the 
crowd, feeling comparatively safe; but he speedily 
threaded it, and ran down the hill and over Windsor 
Bridge to College. He knew very well that the 
roulette people were exercising an illegal trade and 
dare not pursue him ; nevertheless, he made up his 
mind to discover some means of returning any money 
that he might have taken beyond what he was en- 
titled to. Once at home, he lost no time in going to 
his room, where he proceeded to examine the spoil ; 
taking the bag from his pocket, he untied the strings, 
and emptied the contents upon the table. The total, 
after careful enumeration, amounted to five pounds, 
eighteen shillings, and sixpence. 



\VINDSOR AIH. 303 

Butler Burke had fairly won more than six pounds, 
and he felt that he could conscientiously keep the 
money contained in the bag. He had played for it, 
and he had succeeded in winning, and he congratulated 
himself upon his good fortune. When he told Purefoy, 
he said 

" I should not advise you to go up to the fair again, 
Butts. Those fellows would kill you if they could 
get hold of you/' 

" Oh ! I am. not afraid of them," replied Butler 
Burke. 

" Well, I am only advising you for your own good ; 
I know what ruffians these roulette men are popularly 
supposed to be." 

"All right," said Burke. "Don't alarm yourself 
about me, old fellow ; I am not a chicken." 

Purefoy shook his head as his volatile cousin left 
the room, and turned over on his pillow to read 
about the Siege of Troy. He was recovering so ra- 
pidly and so well, that the doctor told him he might 
get up in a day or two, which he was much pleased 
at, as may easily be imagined. 



304 



CHAPTER XXVIIL 

THE PLOOD. 

ETON is, amongst other things, subject to floods. 
When heavy rains take place up the river the volume 
of water is much increased as it reaches Maidenhead ; 
and the stream rushes down past Monkey Island, and 
over the Weir a little below Surly Hall, until it over- 
flows its banks near the railway-bridge, sending an 
immense body of water over the Brocas Meadows. The 
flood usually brings with it the most dreaded of all com- 
plaints amongst large numbers of boys scarlet fever ; 
and when a case makes its appearance the greatest 
caution is exercised by the authorities. The boys in 
the house where the epidemic has broken out are at 
once sent home, and those who are unhappily affected, 
are sent to the Sanatorium or Hospital of the Col- 
lege, which is a commodious building, without much 
pretension to architectural excellence, standing in a 
salubrious situation, a mile or two from the College. 
As winter half came to a close heavy rains took place, 



THE FLOOD. 305 

and a flood, almost encircling Eton College, was the 
result. The Playing Fields were submerged, and the 
water actually came up from the meadows about the 
new church, almost as far as the Mathematical School. 
Butler Burke was much pleased with the idea of a 
flood, and, with many other boys, went down every 
day to the margin of the water at the end of KeatV 
lane to see if the flood was likely to increase or 
diminish, and he drove sticks in the ground and cut 
notches in them, and made a sort of Nilometer out of 
them. Much to his delight, the flood increased, 
and full of the instinct of mischief, he hoped 
that the water would come up as far as Coleridge's, 
so that the boys would have to go to Mathematics in 
boats. 

" Fancy going to Mathematics in a punt/' he ob- 
served to Purefoy, who accompanied him one day 
after twelve to look at the flood. 

" It would be amusing, certainly," replied Purefoy. 
"What would Stephen Hawtrey do?" 

" Well, I suppose he would have a sort of state- 
barge like the Lord Mayor and the other aldermania 
swells," said Burke, with a laugh. 

" And the other masters would go with him, eh ?'* 

" Yes ; no doubt. And Talbot would punt them 
over." 

20 



306 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" Or else they would cock up a bridge for the fellows 
to walk over," said Purefoy. 

" That would be a pom asiuomm, wouldn't it ?" 
answered Burke. 

" Well, really that is a question I must leave to 
you. You might think it so while crossing it," 
replied Purefoy, laughing. 

Purefoy did not stay long. A glance at the water 
was quite enough for him, and he went back to his 
tutor's to work out a simple equation. Burke re- 
mained looking on at the flood, whose waters had 
appeared to be stationary for the last twelve hours. 
It, however, gave no indication of subsiding. There 
were several other boys talking over the marvel, for 
a flood does not occur every year, and a great many 
who had been some time at Eton looked on the spec- 
tacle for the first time. Burke was regarding some- 
thing in the distance, which appeared to be rapidly 
approaching the spot were he was standing. 

" By Jove I" he cried, " that's Talbot. What does 
he want here, I wonder ?" 

Talbot was a waterman, and wore the blue coat 
and badge, which showed that he was in the service 
of the College. 

He was in a punt, which he pushed rapidly along. 
After a time the bottom of his punt grated harshly 



THE FLOOD. 307 

upon the stones of which the road was composed, 
and with a spring he alighted on the dry ground 
amongst the boys. He was instantly besieged with 
questions. 

"Well, Talbot, how's the flood ?" Is it rising?" 
"Is it going down?" "How's Coolcoo Weir?" 
" Has anybody been drowned ?" " Will it come up 
to the Mathematical School ?" " What a lark if it 
comes up into College ! We shall have to go to 
school in skiffs." 

Talbot made no reply to these questions, but turn- 
ing to Butler Burke, whom he knew, he said 

" I am going to the head master's, sir, with a 
message. Will you look after the punt for me?" 
" All right, Talbot," replied Burke. 
" You wont let them young gentlemen as haven't 
passed get inside of it, sir." 
" Not I." 

" Til keep them out," added Butler Burke. 
Talbot said that he shouldn't be long, and walked off 
in the direction of the head master's house. When he 
was gone, Butler Burke thought he would like to get 
in and punt about for a few minutes. 

" I can easily come back when I see Talbot coming," 
he reasoned. "I have a great mind to, 'pon my 
word." 

203 



308 ETON SCHOOL, DAYS. 

" Get in, Burke/ 3 said some little fellow, " and see 
how deep the water is." 

Actuated by some sudden impulse, Burke stepped 
into the water, and in another moment was on 
board. 

" Take me." " Take me with you !" resounded on 
all sides. 

" No ; I shan't take any one," answered Butlei 
Burke. 

Laying hold of the pole, he pushed himself off with- 
out much difficulty. The punt shot out rapidly, and 
in a short time Burke found himself drifting over a 
hedge into a meadow. 

" I think it's time to go back now/' he muttered. 

But when he attempted to go back he found that 
he had got into a sort of current, which rendered it 
extremely difficult to do so. He exerted all his 
strength ; but the pole only sufficed to send him a 
short distance towards the wished for spot at every 
effort. Suddenly it broke, and Burke, who had been 
pushing against it with all his force, fell heavily into 
the water. He rose instantly; the punt was drifting 
slowly away from him. With a few vigorous strokes 
he reached it, and grasped its side. After that he 
was soon once more standing inside it, wet and drip- 
ping, cold and frightened. A piece of the broken 



THE FLOOD. 309 

punt pole drifted by. Leaning over, he picked it up. 
It was not of much use, but it was something. The 
loud voice of Talbot was now heard shouting' to him 
to return. But he was powerless to do so. He could 
only sit still and watch the movements of the cur- 
rent, which were only perceptible in their action upon 
the punt. He was drifting rapidly towards the 
Brocas. The flood was then retiring he could not 
doubt it. This retrograde movement would bring 
him to the river. He hoped most fervently that he 
would not run against any trees, or any broken pol- 
lards with their summits submerged. He regretted 
his folly in getting into the punt, but regrets were, 
as he perceived only too well, of no avail. He sat 
himself down on the well of the punt, and resigned 
himself to his fate. He kept as good a look out as 
he could, and kept a good hold on the piece of the 
broken pole, which was not of much use ; but it \vas 
better than nothing. If he approached anything 
very dangerous he could push off" with it, and 
avoid a collision. He neared the river slowly 
but surely, and at last he was drawn into the stream. 
Just above the rafts the Thames was swollen and 
turbulent. Its waters were muddy and clay-coloured, 
but the stream hissed and bubbled, and boiled along 
with great rapidity. 



810 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

" I hope to God I shall not strike against Windsor 
bridge," he said, as the perspiration broke from every 
pore. 

The bridge was in sight, the rafts were passed 
one by one, Tolladay's, Goodman's, Searle's. Butler 
Burke was perceived. There were some people stand- 
ing on the last raft. Burke waved the broken punt- 
pole. His hat had flowed away with the tide when he 
fell overboard. Hoarse cries were heard from the 
bridge, where the people stopped to look on, instinc- 
tively feeling that there was something wrong. A 
boat put off from Searle's. Butler Burke shouted for 
help. The punt neared Windsor Bridge more closely 
than ever. 

" Mind the bridge ! mind the bridge I" shouted 
twenty voices. 

Burke did not need this intimation. The velocity 
of the stream increased tenfold, and Butler Burke 
stood up with the broken pole in his hand. A 
moment of breathless suspense, and he shot the 
bridge ! 

As he appeared unhurt on the other side, a great 
cry arose, and the spectators thought that the danger 
was over; but they were mistaken. Another obstacle 
likely to prove more difficult to surmount rose into 



THE FLOOD. 311 

existence. The Weir was close at hand, and before 
that was reached the Cobbler had to be passed. 

The Cobbler is a long island which divides the 
Lock Cut from the Weir. It is very narrow, and the 
beginning of it is shored up with timber. There was 
every reason to believe that Burke would be cast 
against this. He was very pale, but his lips were 
firmly compressed, and his teeth clenched. The punt 
was going straight towards the Cobbler. Another 
interval of breathless suspense, and it dashed up 
against the wood, jerking Burke head-foremost into 
the water. His head struck against something 
what he could not say probably a piece of floating 
wood ; he felt confused from the force of the blow, 
and paddled feebly with his arms to keep himself 
afloat. He was in the vortex of the Weir, and went 
along with the stream at a prodigious rate. With 
desperate efforts he managed to keep on the right- 
hand side, near the Cobbler, and in a few seconds he 
was swept over the Weir, and found himself in com- 
paratively smooth water. He had fallen into a little 
bay formed by an angle of the master's bathing- 
place. He had just sufficient strength left to crawl 
up the steps and lie down upon the grass, where he 
fainted. 



312 



CHAPTER XXIX. 



BURKE was taken back to his tutor's by the boatmen 
who pushed off from Searle's Raft, and who had 
picked him up insensible. He was put to bed when 
he arrived, for he seemed to be very ill. After four 
his friends came to see him, but he did not seem to 
recognise them. The doctor was sent for, and expected 
every moment. His tutor shook his head. Mr. 
Wynne brought him a tumbler of brandy-and- water, 
which he drank eagerly; this the doctor on his arrival 
condemned. After this, Chudleigh came into the room 
to have a look at him. When he entered Butler Burke 
was sitting up in bed, his eyes were rolling, and he 
was apparently delirious. As -he saw Chudleigh he 
struck out his arm and moved his fingers about as if 
trying to grasp something, exclaiming as he did so 
" They're spinning, they're spinning." 
"What's the matter?" said Chudleigh, who didn't 
half like it. 



ILLNESS. 313 

" They're at it !" replied Butler Burke, in a terri- 
fied tone, almost sibilant in its sound, which was 
a little above a whisper. 

"Where is it?" asked Chudleigh, thinking it 
better to humour his strange insanity. 

" In my head in my head," replied Burke, touch- 
ing his forehead with one hand. 

"What is it like?" said Chudleigh, pursuing his 
inquiries. 

"Five thousand shuttles moving at once," said 
Butler Burke, writhing as if in great pain. " Oh ! 
it's one huge web." 

Chudleigh ran out of the room to fetch Purefoy, 
whom he fortunately found in his room. 

"I say, Purefoy," he exclaimed, "I don't know 
what the row is with Butler Burke, but " 

" But what ?" asked Purefoy. 

" Well, come and see for yourself," replied 
Chudleigh. 

Purefoy silently got up and followed Chudleigh 
to Butler Burke's room. They shut the door on 
entering, and placed a chair against it to keep the 
fellows out. In a few words Chudleigh explained the 
matter to Purefoy, telling him all that had taken 
place. Purefoy approached the sufferer. Butler 
Burke was grasping the counterpane in his hands. 



314 ETON SCHOOL DAYS. 

and in his convulsive efforts seemed to be trying 
to tear it asunder. After a while he fell down on the 
bed exhausted. 

Purefoy raised him gently in his arms, and placing 
him in the centre of the bed, covered him over with 
the clothes. 

Big drops of perspiration hung on his forehead j 
his cheeks were blanched, his lips livid, and his blood- 
shot eyes gazed listlessly about the room. 

" Can you speak now ?" asked Purefoy, kindly. 

Butler Burke nervously extended one hand, and 
seizing Purefoy by the arm, drew him nearer, and 
whispered in a breathless voice 

" They were spinning, but they are quieter now." 

"What were spinning?" said Purefoy. 

" Quiet now," replied Butler Burke, with an almost 
idiotic softness in his tone. " Churchyards are quiet. 
I shall be quiet when I am there. Is there quiet 
anywhere else? No; no quiet no quiet; none." 

"What were spinning?" again demanded Purefoy, 
although the tears started to his eyes as he saw the 
unhappy condition of the cousin he loved so well. 

" Spinning ! Oh, yes ; of course. It was the 
spiders," answered Burke. " But don't," he added, 
with a look of entreaty ; " please, don't tell them I 
said so, or they'll begin again." 



ILLNESS. 315 

" What, in the name of Heaven's the matter with 
you?" said Purefoy, much alarmed. 

" Now I" cried Butler Burke, drawing him towards 
him with his trembling hands. But suddenly he let 
go his cousin's arm, only to again grasp it almost 
immediately; his fingers pressed nervously against 
the flesh, and Purefoy felt the pain acutely. " I dare 
not tell you," said Butler Burke, between his teeth, 
" and yet you ought to know." 

" Yes, yes, tell me," said Purefoy, anxiously. 

"It's it's " 

Purefoy waited a few moments without speaking, 
when Butler Burke sprang up placed his hand upon 
his cousin's shoulder, and with an hysterical sob, 
tried to speak. 

The effort was fruitless ; utterly exhausted, lie fell 
back on the pillows insensible. 



Butler Burke was long in recovering. His deli- 
rium lasted some days. He had caught the scarlet 
fever, and the blow he had received near the Cobbler 
when the punt struck had made him light-headed. 
He was removed to the Sanatorium, and when In- 
was convalescent he went to Tours, in the south of 
France, with his mother. Purefoy found him there, 



81G ETON SCHOOL DA.\'S. 

and the cousins often talked about and laughed over 
the many adventures which had happened to them 
at the old school before his illness, and of which 
Burke could say, " Quorum pars magna /<'." 

As Purefoy left the Continent to return to Eton at 
the beginning of jumping half, Mrs. Butler Burke 
said to him 

" You will take this letter to Mr. "\Yynne, and say 
that your cousin is not well enough yet to return, but 
that the doctors hope in a month or two he will be 
able to do so." 

" Yes, dear Mrs. Burke, I will take your message," 
replied Purefoy ; " but I hope it will not be long 
before the dear old boy is with us again." 

And thus a gap occurred in Butler Bnrke's career 
Eton. 



London : Robsou and Sons, Printers, Pemcras Road, K.W. 




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